[ dih-lin-ee-eyt ]
See synonyms for: delineatedelineateddelineating on

verb (used with object),de·lin·e·at·ed, de·lin·e·at·ing.
  1. to trace the outline of; sketch or trace in outline; represent pictorially: He delineated the state of Texas on the map with a red pencil.

  2. to portray in words; describe or outline with precision: In her speech she delineated the city plan with great care.

Origin of delineate

First recorded in 1550–60; from Latin dēlīneātus, equivalent to dē- de- + līneātus lineate

Other words from delineate

  • de·lin·e·a·ble [dih-lin-ee-uh-buhl], /dɪˈlɪn i ə bəl/, adjective
  • pre·de·lin·e·ate, verb (used with object), pre·de·lin·e·at·ed, pre·de·lin·e·at·ing.
  • un·de·lin·e·a·ble, adjective

Words Nearby delineate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use delineate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for delineate


/ (dɪˈlɪnɪˌeɪt) /

  1. to trace the shape or outline of; sketch

  2. to represent pictorially, as by making a chart or diagram; depict

  1. to portray in words, esp with detail and precision; describe

Origin of delineate

C16: from Latin dēlīneāre to sketch out, from līnea line 1

Derived forms of delineate

  • delineable, adjective
  • delineation, noun
  • delineative, adjective

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012