Definition of definite description in English:

definite description


  • A noun phrase introduced by the definite article or its equivalent, and purporting to denote a particular entity or phenomenon.

    • ‘Russell's theory of descriptions concerns the meaning of definite descriptions such as ‘The Queen of England’ as they occur in a sentence such as ‘The Queen of England is wise’.’
    • ‘Communities with no last names such as the Amish one seem to make more use of definite descriptions instead.’
    • ‘Logicians usually call them definite descriptions, or sometimes just descriptions - though be warned that this is a technical term.’
    • ‘For example, the point guard and the Vice-President are definite descriptions or proper names.’
    • ‘In other words, Satan wasn't a definite description which referred to the one and only, but signified a role which any angel could occupy.’