describe

verb

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

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 describeJames 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
describable 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The name refers to how Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Carmel Snow described Dior’s 1947 collection. Hilary Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Feb. 2024 He was treated for a gunshot wound described as not life-threatening and taken to the hospital. Bill Lukitsch, Kansas City Star, 22 Feb. 2024 Their method is described in a study published February 9 in the journal The Seismic Record. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 22 Feb. 2024 Murder is described as a deliberate act, while manslaughter typically involves recklessness or negligence. Anthony De Leon, Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2024 He was described as wearing a camouflage jacket, black pants and a black backpack. Caleb Lunetta, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Feb. 2024 Bad Bunny's tour kick-off in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the Delta Center sports arena, can only be described as this: a marathon. Pamela Avila, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2024 On Monday, the White House announced funding of $1.5 billion to chipmaker Global Foundries, described by The New York Times NYT -1% as the first sizable grant from the 2022 CHIPS HIPS +0.3% Act that is aiming to invigorate research and manufacturing of semiconductors in the United States. Katharina Buchholz, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 His family traveled to the Annapolis State House from their home in Calvert County this week to focus public attention on what experts described in testimony as a vulnerability in product safety. Jenna Portnoy, Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near describe

Cite this Entry

“Describe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/describe. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

describe

verb
de·​scribe di-ˈskrīb How to pronounce describe (audio)
described; describing
1
: to represent or give an account of in words
2
: to trace the outline of
describe a circle
describable adjective
describer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on describe

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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