delineate

verb
de·​lin·​eate | \di-ˈli-nē-ˌāt, 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 , 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 most interesting exception is Sylvain Pataille, who makes four Aligoté, bottled separately to delineate subtle variations of each vineyard’s terroir. Patrick Comiskey, latimes.com, "Alternatives to Burgundy, from Burgundy," 29 June 2018 Up to now, the city's network of bike lanes has mostly consisted of stripes painted on pavement to delineate the lanes, rather than using the bollards for extra protection. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "New protected bike lanes on East Jefferson will be test for Detroit," 17 May 2018 The menu is delineated into the highly recognizable apps, salads, pizza, entrées, sides and desserts. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Restaurant Review: Detroit's Empire Kitchen & Cocktails has no clothes," 12 July 2018 The figures are delineated in quivery, wavering lines, as in the frankly erotic works of Egon Schiele. Sharon Mizota, latimes.com, "Black and gay: Jonathan Lyndon Chase's paintings play with cultural conventions," 25 June 2018 The Virginia law became the foundation of the religious freedom protections later delineated in the Constitution. Elahe Izadi, Washington Post, "Thomas Jefferson and the long history of defending Muslim rights," 26 June 2018 The decision to favor six conferences over the other five had clearly delineated college football’s castes. Andy Staples, SI.com, "The Chaos and Consequences of the BCS, 20 Years After Its Inaugural Season," 9 July 2018 Dozens of experts are needed to write the hundreds of pages needed to describe North Korea’s nuclear and missile infrastructure and then delineate how it will be curtailed, dismantled and inspected. New York Times, "North Korea Criticizes ‘Gangster-Like’ U.S. Attitude After Talks With Mike Pompeo," 7 July 2018 Minimal lines of pencil delineate the ground, a flower and a red-and-white fishing bobber that hints at coming adventures; otherwise the page is white and fresh and somehow open for anything. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Meeting the People in the Paintings," 5 July 2018

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

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

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Statistics for delineate

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for delineate

The first known use of delineate was in 1559

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More Definitions for delineate

delineate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of delineate

: to clearly show or describe (something)

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Comments on delineate

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