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describe

[dih-skrahyb]
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verb (used with object), de·scribed, de·scrib·ing.
  1. to tell or depict in written or spoken words; give an account of: He described the accident very carefully.
  2. to pronounce, as by a designating term, phrase, or the like; label: There are few people who may be described as geniuses.
  3. to indicate; be a sign of; denote: Conceit, in many cases, describes a state of serious emotional insecurity.
  4. to represent or delineate by a picture or figure.
  5. Geometry. to draw or trace the outline of: to describe an arc.
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Origin of describe

1400–50; late Middle English describen < Latin dēscrībere, equivalent to dē- de- + scrībere to write
Related formsde·scrib·a·ble, adjectivede·scrib·a·bil·i·ty, nounde·scrib·a·bly, adverbde·scrib·er, nounnon·de·scrib·a·ble, adjectiveo·ver·de·scribe, verb (used with object), o·ver·de·scribed, o·ver·de·scrib·ing.pre·de·scribe, verb (used with object), pre·de·scribed, pre·de·scrib·ing.re·de·scribe, verb (used with object), re·de·scribed, re·de·scrib·ing.self-de·scribed, adjectiveun·de·scrib·a·ble, adjectiveun·de·scrib·a·ble·ness, nounun·de·scrib·a·bly, adverbun·de·scribed, adjectivewell-de·scribed, adjective

Synonyms for describe

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Synonym study

1. Describe, narrate agree in the idea of giving an account of something. To describe is to convey in words the appearance, nature, attributes, etc., of something. The word often implies vividness of personal observation: to describe a scene, an event. To narrate is to recount the occurrence of something, usually by giving the details of an event or events in the order of their happening. Narrate thus applies only to that which happens over time: to narrate an incident.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for describing

portray, represent, term, depict, specify, outline, chronicle, illustrate, express, detail, name, characterize, call, construe, recount, report, label, tell, interpret, define

Examples from the Web for describing

Contemporary Examples of describing

Historical Examples of describing

  • I will content myself with describing what is in store for the tourist.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • So, when I tried to describe the most charming girl of whom I could think, I was describing you.

  • 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

    Jessie Fothergill

  • Partly he is indulging his humour by describing others who were more astray than he was.

    Bunyan

    James Anthony Froude


British Dictionary definitions for describing

describe

verb (tr)
  1. to give an account or representation of in words
  2. to pronounce or labelhe has been described as a genius
  3. to draw a line or figure, such as a circle
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Derived Formsdescribable, adjectivedescriber, noun

Word Origin for describe

C15: from Latin dēscrībere to copy off, write out, delineate, from de- + scrībere to write
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 describing

describe

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper