Definition of describe
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
describableplay \-ˈskrī-bə-bəl\ adjective
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.
Recent Examples of describe from the Web
Police have described the suspect as a black male between the ages of 20-25 years-old, with a thin build, weighing between 170 to 180 pounds.
The paper charger is described in a recent issue of the journal ACS Nano.
However, the minimum range needed to qualify as an ICBM is typically held to be 5,500km, so North Korea may be justified in describing this missile as one.
A former colleague described Bello as a problematic employee.
Meridian Speedway describes Tuesday’s Stinker Stores Firecracker 50 as a display of fire and fury.
On June 24, Laurel residents found the kitten, which was described as a brown, short-haired tabby cat with dark stripes and dots and bite wounds.
One woman described the difficulty of finding places to go in the county that her husband, who is disabled, can access.
A more senior lab official instead improperly decided that others in the room should keep working, according to a witness and an Energy Department report describing the incident.
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.
DESCRIBE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of describe for English Language Learners
: to tell someone the appearance, sound, smell, events, etc., of (something or someone) : to say what something or someone is like
: to make a motion or draw a line that shows the shape of (something)
DESCRIBE Defined for Kids
Definition of describe for Students
1 : to write or tell about Describe what you saw.
2 : to draw the outline of First, describe a circle.
Word Root of describe
The Latin word scribere, meaning “to write,” and its form scriptus give us the roots scrib and script. Words from the Latin scribere have something to do with writing. To scribble is to write quickly or carelessly. To describe is to write or tell about something or someone. A manuscript is a document written by hand. To transcribe is to write down something spoken or copy something written.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up describe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).