de·​lin·​ea·​tion | \-ˌli-nē-ˈā-shən \

Definition of delineation 

1 : the act of outlining or representing something with lines or words : the act of delineating the delineation of a scene … the delineation of the territories allotted to the seven tribes of Israel …— Adam Nicholson

2 : something made by delineating a photographic delineation of low life— T. S. Eliot

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Other Words from delineation

delineative \-​ˈli-​nē-​ˌā-​tiv \ adjective

Synonyms for delineation


cartoon, drawing, sketch

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Examples of delineation in a Sentence

his simple but striking delineations of Dutch landscapes a finely wrought delineation of a young woman's first experience with romantic love

Recent Examples on the Web

In escapist fashion, the wet-looking shadows each moved beyond the lid, blues clouding ethereal toward the brow, while warmer shades skewed finger-painted, swiped into imperfect cat-eyes and rotund delineations. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "This Painterly Pastel Eyeshadow Is the Answer to a Permanently Sunny State of Mind," 17 Sep. 2018 Yamaha, by contrast, has both manual and paddle-shift gearboxes in its X3 competitor, the YXZ (see below), further obscuring the delineation between UTV and civilian automobile. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Dune Buggy Is Back," 22 Dec. 2016 The negative reception of these uncharacteristic works led Magritte to abruptly return to his comfort zone of flat paint, careful delineation and narrative subject matter. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, "Getting surreal: Magritte’s late work pops at SFMOMA," 18 May 2018 The delineation between user and dealer is inexact and often illusory. Josie Duffy Rice, The Atlantic, "The Gospel According to Pusha T," 12 July 2018 Studies and surveys to gather information on wetland delineation, rare and endangered species, the construction footprint and historical significance will also be done, Johnson said. Jennifer Conn, Akron Reporter,, "New study brings Gorge Dam one step closer to potential removal," 9 Mar. 2018 Bowlers were on the lanes that Tuesday morning when the terrorists attacked, providing a mark of delineation for the vulnerability of a nation and the frailty of life. Stephen Ruiz,, "With PWBA U.S. Women's Open in Orlando, reigning champ displays knack for knocking down pins," 28 June 2018 And, to keep with the fluidity of the room, there is no delineation or barrier between the master bedroom and its master bath. Lisa Van Loo, azcentral, "Phoenix couple puts 'blood, sweat and tears' into historic 1925 Coronado renovation," 28 June 2018 There’s still more work to be done: The characters beyond Lucy and Lingg need more individual delineation, and more solo numbers, and the broader themes could use greater emphasis. Chris Jones,, "Tears and cheers at stirring true story of 'Haymarket'," 24 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'delineation.' 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 delineation

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for delineation

see delineate

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Last Updated

22 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for delineation

The first known use of delineation was in 1570

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More from Merriam-Webster on delineation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with delineation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for delineation

Britannica English: Translation of delineation for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about delineation

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