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

Example Sentences

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 Those all were signposts from the past, helpful for a moviegoing audience looking for a clear delineation between good and evil. Los Angeles Times, 30 Nov. 2022 Bell found that there had been no delineation of responsibilities among the multiple ministers and there had been a risk of conflict if two ministers wanted to exercise the same power in different ways. Rod Mcguirk, ajc, 25 Nov. 2022 Sharper theatrical delineation might have given the play greater resonance. Charles Mcnultytheater Critic, Los Angeles Times, 14 Dec. 2022 Mo’s precarious legal status is palpable in most scenes, and is by far the clearest delineation point between the shows. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 30 Sep. 2022 And that, especially at this time of year, with two months remaining before the start of training camp, is a significant delineation. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 27 July 2022 In a contest in which each man called the other divisive and extreme, the delineation between Pritzker and Bailey was very clear. Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune, 9 Nov. 2022 The end of Breaking Bad was very much a bright line, a clear delineation. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 9 Aug. 2022 As new scams emerge, those perpetrating them have continued to specialize and develop their ploys, leading to what McClellan describes as a delineation of scams by region. Dan Carson, Chron, 21 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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 4 Feb. 2023.

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