- to tell or depict in written or spoken words; give an account of: He described the accident very carefully.
- to pronounce, as by a designating term, phrase, or the like; label: There are few people who may be described as geniuses.
- to indicate; be a sign of; denote: Conceit, in many cases, describes a state of serious emotional insecurity.
- to represent or delineate by a picture or figure.
- Geometry. to draw or trace the outline of: to describe an arc.
Origin of describe
SynonymsSee more synonyms for describe on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for describing
They are fathers, describing to the rest of us what I thought was a widely acknowledged reality.The NY Police Union’s Vile War with Mayor De Blasio
December 21, 2014
As a writer, I tried mainly to stick close to the concrete particulars of the events and the performances I was describing.How Richard Pryor Beat Bill Cosby and Transformed America
David Yaffe, Scott Saul
December 10, 2014
At times, it reads as if he is describing the backdrop of a Hieronymus Bosch painting.The Fiery Underground Oil Pit Eating L.A.
December 6, 2014
Describing by biographers as an avid writer of letters, little of his correspondence appears available to public view.The True Story of ‘The Elephant Man’
November 3, 2014
They would speak up, but in tones still soft and placid; and Spahn often overheard them describing him as a “beautiful person.”Gay Talese on Charlie Manson’s Home on the Range
October 31, 2014
I will content myself with describing what is in store for the tourist.The Roof of France
So, when I tried to describe the most charming girl of whom I could think, I was describing you.Quaint Courtships
They had all been describing their individual pursuits and experiences of the morning.Four Girls and a Compact
Annie Hamilton Donnell
I remembered what Anna Sartorius had said in describing this haupt-probe to me.The First Violin
Partly he is indulging his humour by describing others who were more astray than he was.Bunyan
James Anthony Froude
- to give an account or representation of in words
- to pronounce or labelhe has been described as a genius
- to draw a line or figure, such as a circle
Word Origin and History for describing
early 13c., descriven, from Old French descrivre, descrire (13c.), from Latin describere "to write down, copy; sketch, represent" (see description). Reconstructed with Latin spelling 16c. Related: Describable; described, describes, describing.