follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

sketch

[skech] /skɛtʃ/
noun
1.
a simply or hastily executed drawing or painting, especially a preliminary one, giving the essential features without the details.
2.
a rough design, plan, or draft, as of a book.
3.
a brief or hasty outline of facts, occurrences, etc.:
a sketch of his life.
4.
a short, usually descriptive, essay, history, or story.
5.
a short play or slight dramatic performance, as one forming part of a vaudeville program.
verb (used with object)
6.
to make a sketch of.
7.
to set forth in a brief or general account:
He sketched his own part in the affair.
8.
Metallurgy. (in a steel mill or the like) to mark (a piece) for cutting.
verb (used without object)
9.
to make a sketch or sketches.
Origin
1660-1670
1660-70; < Dutch schets (noun) ≪ Italian schizzo < Latin schedium extemporaneous poem, noun use of neuter of schedius extempore < Greek schédios
Related forms
sketcher, noun
sketchingly, adverb
sketchlike, adjective
resketch, verb (used with object)
unsketched, adjective
well-sketched, adjective
Synonyms
2. outline. 5. skit, act, routine. 6. draw, outline, design, rough out, delineate, represent. See depict.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for sketches
  • He essentially sketches a two-pronged approach to progress in social disputes.
  • How these sketches and monologues can help with your calculations remains a statement waiting for a proof.
  • He once scribbled a note on one of his sketches to make a small wax version of one of his drawings of a horse.
  • The photos, which you can see in this gallery, come with brief biographical sketches of the fridge owners.
  • Using his field notes, sketches and photographs during these excursions he captures the feeling of being a part of nature.
  • The whole series of autobiographical sketches are now in print.
  • These brown- ink sketches, probably of panthers, were done quickly and pack a punch.
  • The book sketches briefly the activities of many people who have found ways to improve the lives of others.
  • In his brief sketches, he finds a pattern of common failings.
  • The stories are good and the book is framed by two especially fine autobiographical sketches.
British Dictionary definitions for sketches

sketch

/skɛtʃ/
noun
1.
a rapid drawing or painting, often a study for subsequent elaboration
2.
a brief usually descriptive and informal essay or other literary composition
3.
a short play, often comic, forming part of a revue
4.
a short evocative piece of instrumental music, esp for piano
5.
any brief outline
verb
6.
to make a rough drawing (of)
7.
(transitive) often foll by out. to make a brief description of
Derived Forms
sketchable, adjective
sketcher, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Dutch schets, via Italian from Latin schedius hastily made, from Greek skhedios unprepared
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sketches
sketch
"rough drawing intended to serve as the bases for a finished picture," 1668, from Du. schets, from It. schizzo "sketch, drawing," lit. "a splash, squirt," from schizzare "to splash or squirt," of uncertain origin, perhaps from L. schedium "an extemporaneous poem," from Gk. skedios "temporary, extemporaneous," related to skhein, aor. inf. of ekhein "to have" (see scheme). Ger. Skizze, Fr. esquisse, Sp. esquicio are from Italian. The verb is attested from 1694. Extended sense of "brief account" is from 1668; meaning "short play or performance, usually comic" is from 1789. Sketchy first recorded 1805.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for sketches

sketch

Related Terms

thumbnail sketch


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for sketches

sketch

traditionally a rough drawing or painting in which an artist notes down his preliminary ideas for a work that will eventually be realized with greater precision and detail. The term also applies to brief creative pieces that per se may have artistic merit

Learn more about sketch with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for sketch

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sketches

17
17
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with sketches