description

noun
de·​scrip·​tion | \ di-ˈskrip-shən How to pronounce description (audio) \

Definition of description

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

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of description in a Sentence

Reporters called the scene “a disaster area,” and I think that was an accurate description. I applied for the position after reading the job description. a writer with a gift of description
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Recent Examples on the Web

The warrant for her arrest says a woman matching her description can be seen sitting in the passenger’s seat of the Raptor as Dulos drove down Albany Avenue the evening of May 24. Dave Altimari, courant.com, "Sources: The black Ford Raptor owned by Fotis Dulos’ company was in New Canaan on day Jennifer Dulos disappeared — but he wasn’t driving it," 14 June 2019 Police initially identified Kotva based on witnesses who described seeing a man matching his description walk out of the structure just as the fire ignited. Tony Barboza, latimes.com, "Man suspected of arson in Hermosa Beach fire cleared; another man arrested," 14 June 2019 Several former hostages however, have said they were tortured by masked British-accented men matching their descriptions. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "One of the ISIS 'Beatles' says he's sorry. Will confessions save these fighters from death row?," 10 June 2019 His most forceful language arguably is employed in his description of the events surrounding the White House’s decision to take away his press credential last fall. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, "In new book, CNN’s Acosta recounts death threats after his clashes with Trump," 10 June 2019 The 5-4 decision was scathing both in its description of California’s treatment of inmates and in the dissenting opinions from conservative justices. ProPublica, "Cruel and Unusual: A Guide to California’s Broken Prisons and the Fight to Fix Them," 28 May 2019 Not everybody agrees with her description of events. Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, "How Sackler Became the Most Toxic Name in Philanthropy," 16 May 2019 The rush was driven by the publication of its image on the Internet, by an article in a trade magazine, and by its description in a scientific journal. National Geographic, "This shy Caribbean lizard is now a coveted pet—and critically endangered. How did this happen?," 30 Apr. 2019 What good is my description of a single path through a Mass Effect game when the reader's playthrough could contain significantly different plot decisions? Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Observations and lessons from two decades of writing about video games," 25 Nov. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for description

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

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Statistics for description

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for description

The first known use of description was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for description

description

noun

English Language Learners Definition of description

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

description

noun
de·​scrip·​tion | \ di-ˈskrip-shən How to pronounce description (audio) \

Kids Definition of description

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

description

noun
de·​scrip·​tion

Legal Definition of description

: 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

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Comments on description

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