Describe definition

dĭ-skrīb
To give an account of in speech or writing.

Describe a sea voyage.

verb
65
19
To tell or write about; give a detailed account of.
verb
46
9
To move through space in such a way as to represent or conform to (the outline of a given shape)

The gymnast's rotating arm described an arc.

verb
26
8
To picture in words.
verb
28
13
(biology) To reveal a new species by scientifically explaining its characteristics and particularly how it differs from other species.

The fungus was first described by a botanist.

verb
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(obs.) To descry.
verb
9
9
To represent pictorially; depict.

Goya's etchings describe the horrors of war in grotesque detail.

verb
4
4
To convey an idea or impression of; characterize.

She described her childhood as a time of wonder and discovery.

verb
3
3
To trace the form or outline of.

Describe a circle with a compass.

verb
2
2
Describe is defined as to give details about something to someone.

An example of describe is someone giving the police details about how their attacker looked.

verb
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To represent in words.

The feeling is difficult to describe, but not unpleasant.

The geographer describes countries and cities.

verb
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To represent by drawing; to draw a plan of; to delineate; to trace or mark out.

To describe a circle by the compasses; a torch waved about the head in such a way as to describe a circle.

verb
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(mathematics) To give rise to a geometrical structure.

The function describes a very complex surface.

verb
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1

Origin of describe

  • Middle English describen from Latin dēscrībere to write down dē- de- scrībere to write skrībh- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English descriven, from Old French descrivre, from Latin dēscrībō (“I copy off, transcribe, sketch off, describe in painting or writing”), from (“off”) + scrībō (“write”); see scribe and shrive.

    From Wiktionary