If you can't define a word, turn to the dictionary. That's always the best way to learn the definition. Likewise, anything you can describe completely is something you can define.
The early French and Latin roots of the verb mean something closer to "to limit" or "to create a boundary," but this is really what we do when we define something: we limit its meaning to something specific. So when you're thinking about the word define, remember that you're looking to create a boundary of meaning around it, whether you're specifying the meaning of a word or a larger concept. To define a word such as astronomy is to define both the word and the realm of science that it's concerned with.