describe

verb
de·​scribe | \ di-ˈskrīb How to pronounce describe (audio) \
described; describing

Definition of describe

transitive verb

1 : to represent or give an account of in words describe a picture The police asked her to describe the thief. There were so many things he wanted to describe— James Joyce
2 : to represent by a figure, model, or picture : delineate described in her paintings what she saw from her window
3 obsolete : distribute
4 : to trace or traverse the outline of describe a circle
5 archaic : observe, perceive

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Other Words from describe

describable \ di-​ˈskrī-​bə-​bəl How to pronounce describable (audio) \ adjective
describer noun

Examples of describe in a Sentence

The witness wasn't able to describe the robber. He described the house in perfect detail. The article describes how the experiment was done. She described watching dolphins play beside the ship. Please describe what happened next. Can you describe the lost dog to me? She used a stick to describe a circle on the ground.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Many of these were first studied and described by psychologist Diana Baumrind, who observed preschoolers and found there were three types of parents: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Five Types of Parenting Styles, Explained — And How They Affect Kids, According to Experts," 1 Apr. 2019 While it was described as bubble gum pink in the books, it was made purple in the movie because the filmmakers felt pink should only be associated with Umbridge. 26. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "33 Mind-Blowing "Harry Potter" Movie Facts That'll Make You Want to Watch Them All Over Again," 31 Jan. 2019 Instagram is now using AI to describe photos for users with visual impairments Here’s a nice new accessibility feature. Casey Newton, The Verge, "A looming strike over Project Dragonfly is putting new pressure on Google," 30 Nov. 2018 The defeat of the American ideal of integration and assimilation by diversity and identity politics leads to social outcomes exactly as Messrs. Wood and Pierre describe. WSJ, "Separate but Equal on American Campuses," 5 May 2019 The life of a Taurus can include plenty of push and pull, and as Dacus describes both in this song and to me over the phone, a relationship between two Tauruses only amplifies some of those qualities. Allure, "Musician Lucy Dacus Opens Up About Body Image, Her Moms, and More in New Interview," 24 Apr. 2019 These strict views could be due to what Russian fashion stylist Vasilisa Gusarova described as the super masculine representation of power by Russian political leaders. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "Meet the Designers Showing Gender-Neutral Clothing at Russia Fashion Week," 19 Apr. 2019 The main window in the living room slides to open to a small patch of grass in what might be best described as a courtyard. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Modern Japanese house has a climbable roof," 26 Nov. 2018 As described on the Serial podcast, Lee and Syed dated for much of 1998, and had broken up towards the end of the year. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Complete Timeline of The Case Against Adnan Syed," 31 Mar. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for describe

Middle English, from Latin describere, from de- + scribere to write — more at scribe

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Statistics for describe

Last Updated

5 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for describe

The first known use of describe was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for describe

describe

verb

English Language Learners Definition of describe

: to tell someone the appearance, sound, smell, events, etc., of (something or someone) : to say what something or someone is like
formal : to make a motion or draw a line that shows the shape of (something)

describe

verb
de·​scribe | \ di-ˈskrīb How to pronounce describe (audio) \
described; describing

Kids Definition of describe

1 : to write or tell about Describe what you saw.
2 : to draw the outline of First, describe a circle.

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More from Merriam-Webster on describe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for describe

Spanish Central: Translation of describe

Nglish: Translation of describe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of describe for Arabic Speakers

Comments on describe

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