noun de·scrip·tion \ di-ˈskrip-shən \
|Updated on: 18 Jul 2018
1 a : 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 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

Recent Examples of description from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of description

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

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


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

Law Dictionary


noun de·scrip·tion
: 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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to beat or defeat soundly

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