noun de·scrip·tion \di-ˈskrip-shən\

Definition of description

  1. 1 a :  an act of describing; specifically :  discourse intended to give a mental image of something experienced b :  a descriptive statement or account

  2. 2 :  kind or character especially as determined by salient features <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

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).


a harsh rebuke

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