Definition of describe in English:



  • 1Give an account in words of (someone or something), including all the relevant characteristics, qualities, or events.

    ‘the man was described as tall, clean-shaven, and with short dark hair’
    • ‘He has a single expression that might be described as pensive disappointment.’
    • ‘People came from Norway on an arduous, and in some cases terrifying, voyage, vividly described here.’
    • ‘For those who have dived upon an untouched shipwreck the experience is described as very moving indeed.’
    • ‘It is impossible for me to conjure up the words to adequately describe my own experiences.’
    • ‘He is described as about 6ft tall, medium to thin build, with black and shaven hair.’
    • ‘While writing she realised how few words we have to describe these experiences.’
    • ‘He was described as having blond eyebrows, blue eyes and a local accent.’
    • ‘The situation described in the last paragraph is unlikely.’
    • ‘Most methods have been described previously in detail.’
    • ‘He is described as young and tall and was wearing a black tee-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap.’
    • ‘There was only one word to describe his expression, every time I looked over at him.’
    • ‘He was described as fun-loving, adventurous and with a great sense of humour but also very dedicated.’
    • ‘It is the size of a paper clip and is described as a cross between a stick insect and a praying mantis.’
    • ‘Local history has often been described as the story of people in a place over time.’
    • ‘In the demographic campaign, the cities were described in the most gloomy terms.’
    • ‘He had a clean-shaven, fair face and had what was described as a local accent.’
    • ‘What most people discover is that they use the same words to describe both experiences.’
    • ‘The film's narrative can best be described as a boy's adventure story turned tragic.’
    • ‘The attackers were described as three black males wearing dark clothes.’
    • ‘The book vividly described the wretched conditions of Mexican rural life and the brutality of the revolution.’
    report, narrate, recount, relate, tell of, set out, chronicle
    designate, pronounce, call, label, style, dub
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  • 2Mark out or draw (a geometric figure)

    ‘on the diameter of a circle an equilateral triangle is described’
    • ‘After it has been well stretched, a circle is described with a piece of charcoal.’
    • ‘Then, with the compasses fixed at the right, an arc is described from the horizontal distance at the left to the left hand side of the "proscaenium".’
    • ‘Thus, an arc is described in Figure I from C which cuts the triangle at I and J.’
    delineate, mark out, outline, trace, draw, sketch
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Late Middle English: from Latin describere, from de- ‘down’ + scribere ‘write’.