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describe

[dih-skrahyb] /dɪˈskraɪb/
verb (used with object), described, describing.
1.
to tell or depict in written or spoken words; give an account of:
He described the accident very carefully.
2.
to pronounce, as by a designating term, phrase, or the like; label:
There are few people who may be described as geniuses.
3.
to indicate; be a sign of; denote:
Conceit, in many cases, describes a state of serious emotional insecurity.
4.
to represent or delineate by a picture or figure.
5.
Geometry. to draw or trace the outline of:
to describe an arc.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English describen < Latin dēscrībere, equivalent to dē- de- + scrībere to write
Related forms
describable, adjective
describability, noun
describably, adverb
describer, noun
nondescribable, adjective
overdescribe, verb (used with object), overdescribed, overdescribing.
predescribe, verb (used with object), predescribed, predescribing.
redescribe, verb (used with object), redescribed, redescribing.
self-described, adjective
undescribable, adjective
undescribableness, noun
undescribably, adverb
undescribed, adjective
well-described, adjective
Synonyms
1. portray, characterize, represent; recount, tell, relate. Describe, narrate agree in the idea of giving an account of something. To describe is to convey in words the appearance, nature, attributes, etc., of something. The word often implies vividness of personal observation: to describe a scene, an event. To narrate is to recount the occurrence of something, usually by giving the details of an event or events in the order of their happening. Narrate thus applies only to that which happens in time: to narrate an incident.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for describe
  • Three words someone else would use to describe me are adventurous, open-minded and persistent.
  • We'll be able to describe what they look like and what they do.
  • But remembering faces is not the same as being able to describe them.
  • Ask students to describe what you are doing.
  • There is no one definition to describe entrepreneurs.
  • Scientists generally describe human taste perception in terms of four qualities: saltiness, sourness, sweetness and bitterness.
  • That being said, it's pretty difficult to describe my own art.
  • Although we can easily spot and describe the features that make someone wise, defining wisdom is more elusive.
  • There is a reason we so often steal from the French when it is time to describe food.
  • The term multimedia is also used to describe home entertainment.
British Dictionary definitions for describe

describe

/dɪˈskraɪb/
verb (transitive)
1.
to give an account or representation of in words
2.
to pronounce or label he has been described as a genius
3.
to draw a line or figure, such as a circle
Derived Forms
describable, adjective
describer, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin dēscrībere to copy off, write out, delineate, from de- + scrībere to write
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
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Word Origin and History for describe
v.

early 13c., descriven, from Old French descrivre, descrire (13c.), from Latin describere "to write down, copy; sketch, represent" (see description). Reconstructed with Latin spelling 16c. Related: Describable; described, describes, describing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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