- the line by which a figure or object is defined or bounded; contour.
- a drawing or sketch restricted to line without shading or modeling of form.
- a general sketch, account, or report, indicating only the main features, as of a book, subject, or project: an outline of medieval history; an outline of a speech.
- outlines, the essential features or main aspects of something under discussion: At the first meeting, we gave her only the outlines of the project.
- Printing. an ornamented type in which the outside contours of each character appear in black, with the inside left white.
- to draw the outline of, or draw in outline, as a figure or object.
- to give an outline of; sketch the main features of: On the first day, the professor just outlined the course for us.
Origin of outline
SynonymsSee more synonyms for outline on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for outline
Just hours after the announcement in Beijing, Republican senators began to outline just how much they disdained the new agreement.The U.S.-China Climate Deal Is Mostly Hot Air
November 12, 2014
“I had this outline that said I was going to be done in nine months,” Caro said.‘The Power Broker’ Turns 40: How Robert Caro Wrote a Masterpiece
September 16, 2014
Sometimes he would just have an outline of the scene and we would build the dialogue out with our own words.‘Boyhood’ Star Ellar Coltrane: An Astonishing Debut 12 Years in the Making
July 11, 2014
This spurred Creative Director Adam Isgreen, who also worked on Killer Instinct, to outline of a Phantom Dust reboot—just in case.Video Games Go Wild for Reboots
July 6, 2014
Teardrops flow between the eyes as a flame emanates from the outline of his body.The Gray Lady Gets an Artistic Makeover
May 2, 2014
When Sidney saw the outline of the stable roof, she knew that it was dawn.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Dilly bent, and traced the outline of a leaf with her finger.Meadow Grass
She traced the outline of her left eyebrow, and put it right.Little Dorrit
Let me take one example which may mark out the outline of the contention.Alarms and Discursions
G. K. Chesterton
They have length, and breadth, and outline: have they nothing to do with depth?A Dish Of Orts
- a preliminary or schematic plan, draft, account, etc
- (usually plural) the important features of an argument, theory, work, etc
- the line by which an object or figure is or appears to be bounded
- a drawing or manner of drawing consisting only of external lines
- (as modifier)an outline map
- to draw or display the outline of
- to give the main features or general idea of
Word Origin and History for outline
1790, "to draw in outline," from outline (n.). Meaning "to describe in general terms" is from 1855. Related: Outlined; outlining.