[ lim ]
See synonyms for: limnlimned on

verb (used with object)
  1. to represent in drawing or painting.

  2. to portray in words; describe.

  1. Obsolete. to illuminate (manuscripts).

Origin of limn

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English lymne, variant of Middle English luminen “to illuminate (manuscripts),” variant of enlumine, from Middle French enluminer, from Latin inlūmināre “to embellish,” literally, “light up”; see illuminate

Other words from limn

  • outlimn, verb (used with object)
  • un·limned, adjective

Words that may be confused with limn Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use limn in a sentence

  • Why I even remember when Bill Frist was limned as some kind of great sage.

    The Incompetent Party | Michael Tomasky | January 8, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Between each group of figures the face of the rock was scored with mysterious signs and rudely limned weapons of war and chase.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • One moment he was limned in the glow of the flashlight, then gunfire made a blasting hell of that fourth floor.

  • His light flashed out at the motor, riding perched on its swivel, limned against cold, hard points of light that were the stars.

    Tight Squeeze | Dean Charles Ing
  • There was no need now to map out a course of action; he had limned that in the main before leaving Newport.

  • There was no suggestion of a body, only that majestic head crowned with hyacinthine locks and limned in lambent fire.

    The Doomsman | Van Tassel Sutphen

British Dictionary definitions for limn


/ (lɪm) /

  1. to represent in drawing or painting

  2. archaic to describe in words

  1. an obsolete word for illuminate

Origin of limn

C15: from Old French enluminer to illumine (a manuscript) from Latin inlūmināre to brighten, from lūmen light

Derived forms of limn

  • limner (ˈlɪmnə), noun

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