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See more synonyms for delineate on Thesaurus.com
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.
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Origin of delineate

1550–60; < Latin dēlīneātus, equivalent to dē- de- + līneātus lineate
Related formsde·lin·e·a·ble [dih-lin-ee-uh-buh l] /dɪˈlɪn i ə bəl/, adjectivepre·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, adjectiveun·de·lin·e·at·ed, adjectivewell-de·lin·e·at·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for delineating

depict, limn, define, portray, plot, draw, figure, trace, represent, detail, chart, mark, characterize, draft

Examples from the Web for delineating

Contemporary Examples of delineating

Historical Examples of delineating

  • Here, as nowhere else, has Prescott succeeded in delineating character.

    William Hickling Prescott

    Harry Thurston Peck

  • There was a particular dog in Washington which he was never tired of delineating.

  • For the present we will go on with delineating our exit pallet.

  • Out of Cruikshank's caricature he comes to us with a tail capable of delineating a whole alphabet of humour.

    George Cruikshank

    W. H. Chesson

  • He was dexterous in delineating character, was rapid in execution, had a respectable appreciation of colour.

    Art in England

    Dutton Cook

British Dictionary definitions for delineating


verb (tr)
  1. to trace the shape or outline of; sketch
  2. to represent pictorially, as by making a chart or diagram; depict
  3. to portray in words, esp with detail and precision; describe
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Derived Formsdelineable, adjectivedelineation, noundelineative, adjective

Word Origin for delineate

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

Word Origin and History for delineating



1550s, from Latin delineatus, past participle of delineare "to sketch out," from de- "completely" (see de-) + lineare "draw lines," from linea "line" (see line (n.)). Related: Delineated; delineating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper