Definition of Description

Definition Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51

A description is a set of one or more criteria referencing the values of named characteristics; descriptions are independent of describable things or stuff.

A description comprising a single criterion is either a true or a false description of a particular thing accordingly as that thing satisfies that criterion or does not.

A single description comprising multiple criteria describes something to an extent determined by rules for the combination of the results from the application of individual criteria.

Descriptions determine the identification and characterisation of entities through the characterisation of observables, which by association with an identified entity may become attributes of that entity, i.e. its properties, relationships and behaviours.

Description is contrasted with specification, which is a set of one or more prescriptive rules, i.e. a set of instructions for making something that conforms to a description or for defining something.

Something is said to satisfy a specification to the extent that it satisfies the criteria given by the specification, i.e. the extent to which an accurate description of the thing matches the description desired for it.


Description is a defined term of Enterprise Architecture. Description is a defined term of Business Analysis.

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