de·​lin·​ea·​tion | \ di-ˌli-nē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce delineation (audio) , dē- \

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 \ di-​ˈli-​nē-​ˌā-​tiv How to pronounce delineative (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for delineation


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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 Wetlands delineation takes around 18 months to be approved. Marcus Gutierrez, Houston Chronicle, "BNSF discusses new Cleveland logistics center at Allies Day," 8 Mar. 2020 Somehow, Leila has been able to subvert the segregation that’s endemic to metro Detroit, its clear racial delineation often most starkly visible in its buzziest new restaurants. Mark Kurlyandchik,, "Leila is the 2020 Detroit Free Press Restaurant of the Year," 14 Feb. 2020 Martinez de Vara had asked the historic commission Wednesday to require the city to perform a cemetery boundary delineation study, backed with archival and archaeological research, before the work begins at the site. Scott Huddleston,, "Work on Cenotaph in downtown San Antonio could start in February," 21 Dec. 2019 My Charley did not opt for a flame-out on live television, or even a private delineation of my failings as a friend. Laura Lippman, Longreads, "The Art of Losing Friends and Alienating People," 8 Nov. 2019 Now the resource delineation work has shifted to the deeper sediments, Eden said. Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Unique state-owned prospect a highlight as spending on Alaska mineral exploration rebounds," 7 Nov. 2019 This calls attention to the delineation of ‘foreign film’ vs ‘foreign-language film.’ Which makes more sense? Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "What Makes a Movie ‘Foreign’ Enough for the Oscars?," 9 Nov. 2019 There’s a pretty clear delineation between the lot who’ve just joined CRDT a few short weeks ago, and those who’ve been a more embedded part of the three-year process bringing this work to life. Lauren Warnecke,, "Cerqua Rivera Dance’s ‘Catracho’ is a personal, timely immigration story," 28 Sep. 2019 Again, the Heat often will present lineups and cycle through lineups where the positional delineations are indistinguishable. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Are Heat positioned for lineup issues?," 17 Sep. 2019

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

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

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Time Traveler for delineation

Time Traveler

The first known use of delineation was in 1570

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Statistics for delineation

Last Updated

25 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Delineation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on delineation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for delineation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with delineation

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

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