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

Synonyms for delineate

Synonyms

define, outline, silhouette, sketch, trace

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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

John Wittman, an Abbott spokesman, said there’s no written policy that strictly delineates what should be done on each account. James Barragán, Dallas News, "Can your elected official block you on Twitter or Facebook? New Texas case may provide an answer," 25 June 2019 Soderberry refers specifically to the economic trade terms of passthrough and burdens, which delineate where the imposition of the tariffs actually lands and who pays them. NBC News, "Trump's Mexico tariffs, set to begin Monday, will hit Americans' wallets and jobs," 7 June 2019 The movement challenges dictionaries to redefine the word’s meaning, which often delineates darkness and badness. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Procter and Gamble's My Black Is Beautiful Platform Launches Initiative To #RedefineBlack," 5 June 2019 From there, motorists can continue to Fontana Lake, which delineates much of the park’s southern boundary. Joe Yogerst, National Geographic, "Everything to know about Great Smoky Mountains National Park," 28 Mar. 2019 Recent papers published in Biosystems and Molecular Biology and Evolution delineated why the RNA world hypothesis does not provide a sufficient foundation for the evolutionary events that followed. Quanta Magazine, "The End of the RNA World Is Near, Biochemists Argue," 19 Dec. 2017 The material obtained by The Intercept has already begun to delineate the contours of what may be one of the most consequential legal plots of the twenty-first century. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "The Conspiracy to Discredit Brazil’s Left," 10 June 2019 The idealized figures are crisply carved in minute detail: delineated feathers on the eagle; muscles, bones, hair curls and toenails on the figures, and irises in the eyes of Augustus and others. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "A Man Among Gods," 21 Sep. 2018 During last week’s Senate lunch, Trump praised his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un while delineating his foreign policy accomplishments. Seung-min Kim, The Seattle Times, "Inside Trump’s defiance on the longest shutdown ever," 13 Jan. 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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Statistics for delineate

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

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

formal : to clearly show or describe (something)

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Comments on delineate

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