verb de·scribe \di-ˈskrīb\

: to tell someone the appearance, sound, smell, events, etc., of (something or someone) : to say what something or someone is like

: to make a motion or draw a line that shows the shape of (something)


Full Definition of DESCRIBE

transitive verb
:  to represent or give an account of in words <describe a picture>
:  to represent by a figure, model, or picture :  delineate
obsolete :  distribute
:  to trace or traverse the outline of <describe a circle>
archaic :  observe, perceive
de·scrib·able \-ˈskrī-bə-bəl\ adjective
de·scrib·er noun

Examples of DESCRIBE

  1. The witness wasn't able to describe the robber.
  2. He described the house in perfect detail.
  3. The article describes how the experiment was done.
  4. She described watching dolphins play beside the ship.
  5. Please describe what happened next.
  6. Can you describe the lost dog to me?
  7. She used a stick to describe a circle on the ground.

Origin of DESCRIBE

Middle English, from Latin describere, from de- + scribere to write — more at scribe
First Known Use: 15th century
DESCRIBE Defined for Kids


verb de·scribe \di-ˈskrīb\

Definition of DESCRIBE for Kids

:  to write or tell about <Describe what you saw.>
:  to draw the outline of <First, describe a circle.>

Word Root of DESCRIBE

The Latin word scribere, meaning to write, and its form scriptus give us the roots scrib and script. Words from the Latin scribere have something to do with writing. To scribble is to write quickly or carelessly. To describe is to write or tell about something or someone. A manuscript is a document written by hand. To transcribe is to write down something spoken or copy something written.


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