A definite article is an element which accompanies nouns and which codes definiteness, like the in English. Definite articles need not be obligatory. Definite NPs are NPs whose referent can be uniquely identified by the hearer, as in anaphoric situations, to refer back to something mentioned in the preceding discourse (e.g. I bought a new bicycle... My husband likes the bicycle), or in associative contexts, to refer to something that is not mentioned in the preceding discourse but that is identifiable because of an associative relationship (e.g. I bought a new bicycle. The saddle is very comfortable).