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  • Verb




So, today my teacher asked me to define or state the meaning of the word “gigglygoobird.” I had to look it up in the dictionary in order to define or explain what it meant, as I had no idea what a gigglygoobird was. The word “gigglygoobird” wasn’t even in the dictionary, so I told my teacher that I was not able to define or give the meaning of that word. He laughed and told me that he hadn’t meant for me to define or put its meaning into words as he had totally made it up as an April Fools’ Day joke!

Quiz: If your teacher asks you to define a word, what do they want you to do?

  • They want you to spell that word right.
  • They want you to find the word in a book.
  • They want you to tell them what the word means.

Memory Hook

Deaf Pineapple A pineapple has no ears, so you cannot define a pineapple as a fruit that is deaf!


  • "The work of a dictionary is more than just adding new words. It's an ongoing effort to ensure that how we define words reflects changes in language—and life," said John Kelly, senior editor at —NPR
  • [M]ost people will define leadership by pointing to examples, such as George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr, Ruth Bader Ginsburg or activist Greta Thunberg. —Forbes

Word Ingredients

de- thoroughly
fin form a boundary, limit
e used for spelling and pronunciation

When you define a word, you “thoroughly limit” it to its own meaning, hence “forming a boundary” around what it can mean and what it cannot.

Word Theater

The Matrix How do you define what is real?

Word Constellation


Word Variants

definition n the meaning of a word