transitive verblimned, limn′ing
- to paint or draw
- to portray in words; describe
- to outline or highlight
- Obs. to illuminate (manuscripts)
Origin of limnMiddle English limnen, contr. from luminen, for enluminen from Old French enluminer from Classical Latin illuminare, illuminate
transitive verblimned, limn·ing, limns
- To describe or depict by painting or drawing.
- To suffuse or highlight with light or color; illuminate: “There was just enough juice left in Merrill's flashlight to limn the outlines: A round lobe here. Another lobe over there” ( Hampton Sides )
- To describe or portray in words.
Origin of limnMiddle English limnen to illuminate (a manuscript) probably alteration ( influenced by limnour illustrator ) of luminen from Old French luminer from Latin lūmināre to illuminate, adorn from lūmen lūmin- light ; see leuk- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present limns, present participle limning, simple past and past participle limned)
- Particularly used in arts journalism; not understood by significant portion of American public.
Middle English luminem, limnen (“to illuminate (a manuscript)"), from Middle French enluminer, from Latin illÅ«minÅ (“I illuminate") (English illuminate), in + lÅ«minÅ (“light up"), from lÅ«men (“light"), from Proto-Indo-European *lewk- (English leam (“glow")).
- Alternative form of limno-.