§ 15.65. Definitions.
(a) Use. To avoid repetition of words and to assure clarity, a well drafted statute often contains a section on definitions. They are of definite advantage in the following situations:
(1) To define a general term in order to avoid its frequent repetition.
(2) To avoid repeating the full title of an officer or agency.
(3) To give an exact meaning to a word that has several dictionary meanings.
(4) To define a technical word that has no popular meaning in commonly understood language.
(5) To limit the meaning of a term that, if not defined, would have a broader meaning than intended.
(b) Precautions. A word should not be defined to mean something wholly foreign to its dictionary meaning or to include substantive provisions. In referring to defined words, the defined word and not the definition should be used.
(c) Statutory construction and definitions. The act (1 Pa.C.S. § § 19011910) contains various rules for construing words and phrases and (1 Pa.C.S. § 1991) defines words and phrases used in statutes enacted finally on or after September 1, 1937 which apply unless the context of the statute under consideration clearly indicates otherwise.
(d) Form. Definition provisions are usually in the following form:
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:
Action. Any suit or proceeding in any court of this Commonwealth.
Administrator. A fiduciary appointed under authority of law by a register of wills or court to administer the estate of a decedent.
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