noun out·line \ˈat-ˌlīn\

: a drawing or picture that shows only the shape of an object

: a style of drawing in which only the outer edges of an object are shown

: a line that is drawn around the edges of something

Full Definition of OUTLINE

a :  a line that marks the outer limits of an object or figure :  boundary
b :  shape
a :  a style of drawing in which contours are marked without shading
b :  a sketch in outline
a :  a condensed treatment of a particular subject <an outline of world history>
b :  a summary of a written work :  synopsis
:  a preliminary account of a project :  plan
:  a fishing line set out overnight

Examples of OUTLINE

  1. The pictures were drawn in outline and then filled in with color.
  2. The leaves etched into the vase have a gold outline.
  3. Organize your essay by writing an outline in which you state your main idea followed by your supporting points.
  4. a brief outline of American history
  5. Her speech was written in outline on note cards.

First Known Use of OUTLINE


Synonym Discussion of OUTLINE

outline, contour, profile, silhouette mean the line that bounds and gives form to something. outline applies to a line marking the outer limits or edges of a body or mass <traced the outline of his hand>. contour stresses the quality of an outline or a bounding surface as being smooth, jagged, curving, or sharply angled <a car with flowing contours>. profile suggests a varied and sharply defined outline against a lighter background <a portrait of her face in profile>. silhouette suggests a shape especially of a head or figure with all detail blacked out in shadow leaving only the outline clearly defined <photograph in silhouette against a bright sky>.

Rhymes with OUTLINE

A-line, affine, airline, align, alkyne, alpine, assign, at sign, balkline, baseline, beeline, benign, bloodline, blue line, blush wine, bovine, bowline, branchline, breadline, bright-line, buntline, bustline, byline, call sign, canine, caprine, carbine, carmine, cervine, chow line, clothesline, cloud nine, coastline, combine, compline, condign, confine, consign, corvine, cosign, cutline, dateline, deadline, decline, define, design, divine, dragline, driveline, earthshine, Einstein, eiswein, end line, enshrine, entwine, equine, ethyne, fall line, fault line, feline, ferine, first-line, flatline, flight line, foul line, fräulein, frontline, front line, goal line, gold mine, grapevine, guideline, hairline, hard-line, hard pine, headline, hemline, high sign, hipline, Holbein, hotline, ice wine, incline, indign, in fine, in-line, Irvine, jawline, jug wine, landline, land mine, lang syne, lifeline, load line, longline, lupine, mainline, main line, malign, midline, moline, moonshine, neckline, off-line, old-line, online, opine, outshine, ovine, Pauline, peace sign, Petrine, pipeline, piscine, pitch pine, plotline, plumb line, plus sign, pontine, porcine, potline, pound sign, propine, punch line, rapine, recline, redline, red pine, refine, reline, repine, resign, Rhine wine, ridgeline, roofline, Sabine, saline, Scotch pine, scrub pine, setline, shoreline, short line, sideline, sight line, skyline, snow line, soft-line, spring line, straight-line, strandline, straw wine, streamline, strip mine, strychnine, subline, sunshine, supine, syncline, taurine, tie-line, times sign, topline, touchline, towline, tramline, trapline, tree line, trephine, trotline, truckline, trunk line, tumpline, turbine, untwine, ursine, vespine, V sign, vulpine, waistline, white line, white pine, white wine, woodbine, yard line, zebrine, Z line



: to draw a line around the edges of (something)

: to list or describe only the most important parts of (an essay, speech, plan, etc.) : to give an outline of (something)

Full Definition of OUTLINE

transitive verb
:  to draw the outline of
:  to indicate the principal features or different parts of <outlined their responsibilities>

Examples of OUTLINE

  1. The President outlined his agenda for the next term.
  2. The book outlines the major events of the country's history.
  3. All players must follow the rules outlined above.

First Known Use of OUTLINE

circa 1790


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