de·​lin·​ea·​tion di-ˌli-nē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce delineation (audio)
: 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
: something made by delineating
a photographic delineation of low lifeT. S. Eliot
delineative adjective

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 recent years, religious activists have succeeded in tearing down what had been a clear delineation between public funding and religious education. Laura Meckler, Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2024 This delineation showcases the complementary yet distinct roles each profession plays in financial and legal tax matters. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 5 Mar. 2024 After the 2020 harvest, James shortened the aging process and refocused the blending on a more specific subsoil delineation. Irene S. Levine, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 The clear hierarchical delineations, from owner Rashid (Oded Fehr) down to busboy Raton (Esteban Caicedo), make for a microcosmic distillation of America outside the walls of The Grill, replete with the frustrations of trying to move even one wrung up on the ladder. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Feb. 2024 Eyeliner may be a makeup enthusiast’s must-have, but not all wings, rims, and waterline delineations are created equal. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 20 Nov. 2023 First, there’s a clear delineation between the top seven and bottom four. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Jan. 2024 There is no delineation between front-of-house and back-of-house at Ilis: chefs act as servers, bartenders run their own cocktails, and many courses are finished tableside. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 21 Jan. 2024 This delineation can be achieved through the creation of a technocratic government that is agreed to by all factions, including Hamas, but does not include members of any of them. Khaled Elgindy, Foreign Affairs, 18 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'delineation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Late Latin dēlīneātiōn-, dēlīneātiō "description," from Latin dēlīneāre "to trace the outline of, delineate" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action

First Known Use

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of delineation was in 1570

Dictionary Entries Near delineation

Cite this Entry

“Delineation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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