noun de·scrip·tion \di-ˈskrip-shən\

Definition of description

  1. 1a :  an act of describing; specifically :  discourse intended to give a mental image of something experienced beautiful beyond description gave an accurate description of what he sawb :  a statement or account giving the characteristics of someone or something :  a descriptive statement or account The review was little more than a description of the film's plot.

  2. 2 :  kind or character especially as determined by salient (see 1salient 3b) features someone fitting the suspect's description had toys of every description opposed to any tax of so radical a description

Examples of description in a sentence

  1. Reporters called the scene a disaster area, and I think that was an accurate description.

  2. I applied for the position after reading the job description.

  3. a writer with a gift of description

Origin and Etymology of description

Middle English descripcioun, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin description-, descriptio, from describere —see describe

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of description

type, kind, sort, nature, description, character mean a number of individuals thought of as a group because of a common quality or qualities. type may suggest strong and clearly marked similarity throughout the items included so that each is typical of the group one of three basic body types. kind may suggest natural grouping a zoo seemingly having animals of every kind. sort often suggests some disparagement the sort of newspaper dealing in sensational stories. nature may imply inherent, essential resemblance rather than obvious or superficial likenesses two problems of a similar nature. description implies a group marked by agreement in all details belonging to a type as described or defined not all acts of that description are actually illegal. character implies a group marked by distinctive likenesses peculiar to the type research on the subject so far has been of an elementary character.

DESCRIPTION Defined for English Language Learners


noun de·scrip·tion \di-ˈskrip-shən\

Definition of description for English Language Learners

  • : a statement that tells you how something or someone looks, sounds, etc. : words that describe something or someone

  • : type or kind

DESCRIPTION Defined for Kids


noun de·scrip·tion \di-ˈskrip-shən\

Definition of description for Students

  1. 1 :  a written or spoken statement about something that enables a reader or listener to picture it I recognized the place from your description of it.

  2. 2 :  1sort 1, kind People of every description were there.

Law Dictionary


noun de·scrip·tion

Legal Definition of description

  1. :  a representation in words of the nature and characteristics of a thing: as a :  a specification of the boundaries of a piece of land (as for a deed) b :  an explanation of an invention in a patent application or printed publication

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up description? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


contemplative of or relative to the past

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