thumbnail sketch

A brief outline or cursory description, as in Let me give you a thumbnail sketch of the situation. This idiom alludes to drawing a picture no larger than a thumbnail. [Mid-1800s]


Nearby words

  1. thumber,
  2. thumbhole,
  3. thumbikin,
  4. thumbkin,
  5. thumbnail,
  6. thumbnut,
  7. thumbpiece,
  8. thumbprint,
  9. thumbs down,
  10. thumbs up

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