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 \ -​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

The annual charge, which Fidelity calls an infrastructure fee, is aimed at companies selling shares on the asset manager’s fund platform, and was described in a 2017 internal Fidelity document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Gretchen Morgenson, WSJ, "Government Probes Fidelity Over Obscure Mutual-Fund Fees," 27 Feb. 2019 The rest of the process relies on the same method described above to create a secure random number. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Conservation of energy used to parallelize quantum key distribution," 17 Dec. 2018 When Microsoft began releasing the October 2018 Update, the company received 23 pieces of feedback and 20 pieces of support data describing the bug. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft re-releases the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, admitting its testing needs to improve," 13 Nov. 2018 The low-key celebration, described as chill and relaxed by the attendee, was coordinated by Jennifer Zabinski of JZ Events, who planned Williams' 2017 wedding to Alexis Ohanian. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Exclusive: Inside Duchess Meghan's "Intimate" Baby Shower," 21 Feb. 2019 Johnson says, describing his thruway to the silver screen. Vogue, "A New Class of Bright, Young Things—from Riverdale Heartthrobs to Underground Musicians—Lets Loose in L.A.," 15 Feb. 2019 Intel spent the recent CES in Las Vegas describing the company’s wholesale switch to 10nm, including Ice Lake, its next-generation processor, which is still on track to ship by the 2019 holiday season, Swan said. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel addresses processor shortages, CEO hunt after reporting disappointing fourth-quarter results," 24 Jan. 2019 In 2016, the DMSC received letters from detainees describing conditions at the El Paso Processing Center, including one from a detainee who claims he was not treated for a worsening spider bite and high fever. Elaine Murphy, Teen Vogue, "What Really Happens Inside American Immigration Facilities and Detention Centers," 14 Jan. 2019 Journalists have often described Justin as difficult to talk to, a criticism that seems unfair. Rob Haskell, Vogue, "Justin and Hailey Bieber Open Up About Their Passionate, Not-Always-Easy but Absolutely All-In Romance," 7 Feb. 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

13 Mar 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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to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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