Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

delineate

play
verb de·lin·eate \di-ˈli-nē-ˌāt, dē-\

Simple Definition of delineate

  • : to clearly show or describe (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of delineate

delineateddelineating

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to indicate or represent by drawn or painted lines b :  to mark the outline of <lights delineating the narrow streets>

  3. 2 :  to describe, portray, or set forth with accuracy or in detail <delineate a character in the story> <delineate the steps to be taken by the government>

delineator play \-nē-ˌā-tər\ noun

Examples of delineate in a sentence

  1. He plants his skates millimeters outside the blue-tinted 44-square-foot arena that delineates the crease and refuses to budge … —Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated, 21 May 2007

  2. Screenwriter Christopher Hampton introduces a large gallery of characters, subtly delineating the unspoken class biases that will keep Robbie, for all his confidence, charm and Cambridge education, an outsider. —David Ansen, Newsweek, 10 Dec. 2007

  3. So Madrid finally ordered Onís to cut the best deal he could. The resulting Transcontinental (or Adams-Onís) Treaty of 1819 ceded Florida to the United States and delineated the boundary between American and Spanish territory all the way to the Pacific Ocean … —Walter A. McDougall, Promised Land, Crusader State, 1997

  4. Privacy plays a unique role in American law. Although considered a core value by most citizens, it is not explicitly delineated as a protected right by the U.S. Constitution. —Edward A. Cavazos et al., Cyberspace and the Law, 1994

  5. The report clearly delineates the steps that must be taken.

  6. The characters in the story were carefully delineated.



Origin of delineate

Latin delineatus, past participle of delineare, from de- + linea line


First Known Use: 1559

Rhymes with delineate

abbreviate, abominate, accelerate, accentuate, accommodate, acculturate, accumulate, adjudicate, adulterate, affiliate, agglomerate, alienate, alleviate, alliterate, amalgamate, ameliorate, amyl nitrate, annihilate, annunciate, anticipate, apostolate, appreciate, appropriate, approximate, arpeggiate, articulate, asphyxiate, assassinate, asseverate, assimilate, associate, at any rate, attenuate, authenticate, barbiturate, bicarbonate, calumniate, capacitate, capitulate, catholicate, certificate, coagulate, coelenterate, collaborate, commemorate, commiserate, communicate, compassionate, concatenate, conciliate, confabulate, confederate, conglomerate, congratulate, consolidate, contaminate, cooperate, coordinate, corroborate, deactivate, debilitate, decapitate, decelerate, decerebrate, deconcentrate, deconsecrate, decorticate, decrepitate, de-escalate, defibrinate, defoliate, degenerate, deliberate, demodulate, denominate, depopulate, depreciate, deracinate, deregulate, desegregate, desiderate, detoxicate, devaluate, diaconate, dilapidate, discriminate, disintegrate, disseminate, dissimulate, dissociate, domesticate, effectuate, ejaculate, elaborate, electroplate, eliminate, elucidate, emaciate, emancipate, emasculate, encapsulate, enumerate, enunciate, episcopate, equivocate, eradicate, etiolate, evacuate, evaluate, evaporate, eventuate, eviscerate, exacerbate, exaggerate, exasperate, excited state, excogitate, excoriate, exfoliate, exhilarate, exonerate, expatiate, expatriate, expectorate, expostulate, expropriate, extenuate, exterminate, extrapolate, facilitate, felicitate, fish or cut bait, garrison state, gesticulate, habilitate, habituate, hallucinate, humiliate, hydrogenate, hypothecate, illuminate, impersonate, inactivate, inaugurate, incarcerate, incinerate, incorporate, incriminate, indoctrinate, inebriate, infatuate, infuriate, ingratiate, ingurgitate, initiate, inoculate, inseminate, insinuate, instantiate, intercalate, interpolate, interrelate, interrogate, intimidate, intoxicate, invalidate, investigate, invigorate, irradiate, Italianate, Korea Strait, lanceolate, legitimate, luxuriate, mandarinate, manipulate, matriarchate, matriculate, Merthiolate, necessitate, negotiate, noncandidate, obliterate, officiate, Orange Free State, orientate, originate, oxygenate, participate, particulate, patriarchate, patriciate, perambulate, peregrinate, perpetuate, pontificate, precipitate, predestinate, predominate, prefabricate, premeditate, preponderate, prevaricate, procrastinate, prognosticate, proliferate, propitiate, proportionate, quadruplicate, quintuplicate, reciprocate, recriminate, recuperate, redecorate, reduplicate, reeducate, refrigerate, regenerate, regurgitate, reincarnate, reintegrate, reiterate, rejuvenate, remunerate, repatriate, repudiate, resuscitate, retaliate, reticulate, revaluate, reverberate, scholasticate, second estate, self-flagellate, self-immolate, self-pollinate, seventy-eight, sextuplicate, Singapore Strait, sophisticate, subordinate, substantiate, syllabicate, tergiversate, transliterate, triangulate, vanity plate, variegate, vaticinate, vituperate, vociferate



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up delineate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to work hard

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

oily prompt angry maudlin
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ