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My "Webster's New World Dictionary" says that "define" means "to set a limit to, bound..."

I got this dictionary when I went off to college years ago, so it may be a bit out of date. But I think that it's definition of define still is true. When we set limits or bounds, we are essentially drawing lines - sometimes arbritrary lines - to separate one thing from another.

For example, a circle is easy to define: A line where all the points are the same distance from another point called the center. Not all words and concepts are so easily defined.

My Webster's defines "night" as "a. the period from sunset to sunrise, b. the period of actual darkness after sunset and before sunrise."

If I asked you to go outside a few minutes after sunset, then come back and tell me if it was day or night out there, you might be reluctant to say "night" while it is still light out there. You might prefer Webster's second definition, which refers to actual darkness.

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