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See more synonyms for description on Thesaurus.com
  1. a statement, picture in words, or account that describes; descriptive representation.
  2. the act or method of describing.
  3. sort; kind; variety: dogs of every description.
  4. Geometry. the act or process of describing a figure.
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Origin of description

1300–50; Middle English descripcioun < Latin dēscrīptiōn- (stem of dēscrīptiō), equivalent to dēscrīpt(us) (past participle of dēscrībere to describe) + -iōn- -ion
Related formspre·de·scrip·tion, nounre·de·scrip·tion, nounself-de·scrip·tion, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for descriptions

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He made quite a good picture of you in one of them, drawn from my descriptions.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • But you can tell me so much more about them than I can tell you, that why should I tire you with my accounts and descriptions?

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • The descriptions of these old rectory-houses are interesting.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • Besides this, a great many other descriptions are spun there.

    Bremen Cotton Exchange

    Andreas Wilhelm Cramer

  • Many sermons have been filled with descriptions of celestial or infernal mansions.



British Dictionary definitions for descriptions


  1. a statement or account that describes; representation in words
  2. the act, process, or technique of describing
  3. sort, kind, or varietyreptiles of every description
  4. geometry the act of drawing a line or figure, such as an arc
  5. philosophy a noun phrase containing a predicate that may replace a name as the subject of a sentence
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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 descriptions



late 14c., from Old French description (12c.) and directly from Latin descriptionem (nominative descriptio) "representation, description, copy," noun of action from past participle stem of describere "write down, transcribe, copy, sketch," from de- "down" (see de-) + scribere "write" (see script (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with descriptions


see beggar description.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.