delineate

verb
de·​lin·​eate | \ di-ˈli-nē-ˌāt How to pronounce delineate (audio) , dē- \
delineated; delineating

Definition of delineate

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from delineate

delineator \ di-​ˈli-​nē-​ˌā-​tər How to pronounce delineator (audio) , dē-​ \ noun

Examples of delineate in a Sentence

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 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 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 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 The report clearly delineates the steps that must be taken. The characters in the story were carefully delineated.
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Recent Examples on the Web The yellow lines indicate one-way gravel driveways and the orange line delineates the trail connection. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Planners review Woodson parking, evacuation plan," 13 Sep. 2019 The French Quarter is a 73-block historic district delineated by Rampart Street, Esplanade Avenue, Canal Street and the Mississippi River; neworleansonline.com. Laura Randall, Washington Post, "If you need an alternative to French Quarter cocktails and food, try this museum," 3 July 2019 But Simien seems to lose Anna in the process, throwing chunks of exposition her way to delineate the larger cultural forces motivating her evil ‘do. David Canfield, EW.com, "Justin Simien delivers messy, provocative horror in Bad Hair: Sundance review," 24 Jan. 2020 Along with wanting to be consulted on handling of human remains, Tap Pilam also seeks a comprehensive archival and archaeological study to delineate cemetery boundaries, and access to the Alamo church for its annual religious ceremony in the fall. Scott Huddleston, ExpressNews.com, "Native American group files new claims in Alamo lawsuit," 23 Jan. 2020 Scientists have been trying to better delineate how wildfires spread for decades, and understanding the complicated fluid dynamics at work is key to those efforts. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Scientists model dynamic feedback loop that fuels the spread of wildfires," 28 Dec. 2019 The trees are being removed to better delineate the park’s boundaries. USA TODAY, "Nativity on the run, ‘Bag O’Slag,’ kapu aloha: News from around our 50 states," 19 Nov. 2019 And if the ultimate question with Justise is attempting to delineate his position, perhaps the answer is coming to appreciate the versatility. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Will Heat have to temper the tempest that is Jimmy Butler?," 28 Sep. 2019 The jack-o’-lantern face has moving green flames pouring from the eyes, nose and mouth, a broad, grinning mouth, a long, prominent stem that curves, and dark striations delineating the segments of the pumpkin giving it a yellow-and-orange design. Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter, "Epic Games Asks Court to Declare 'Fortnite' Dancing Pumpkin Doesn't Infringe on Viral Character," 9 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'delineate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of delineate

1559, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for delineate

borrowed from Latin dēlīneātus, past participle of dēlīneāre "to trace the outline of," from dē- de- + līneāre "to make straight, mark with lines," derivative of līnea "string, cord, line entry 1"

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Time Traveler for delineate

Time Traveler

The first known use of delineate was in 1559

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Statistics for delineate

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Delineate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delineate. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for delineate

delineate

verb
How to pronounce delineate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of delineate

formal : to clearly show or describe (something)

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Comments on delineate

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