de·​scrip·​tor | \ di-ˈskrip-tər How to pronounce descriptor (audio) \

Definition of descriptor

: something (such as a word or characteristic feature) that serves to describe or identify especially : a word or phrase (such as an index term) used to identify an item (such as a subject or document) in an information retrieval system

Examples of descriptor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Someone recently told me that chill is a filler word, a meaningless substitute for a more worthwhile descriptor. Alex Delany, Bon Appétit, "These Cold, Pesto-y Rice Noodles Are Incredibly Chill," 2 Aug. 2019 Now, however, there are good-better-best suffixes, too: the G1, G4, and G7 descriptors signal the various tiers of graphics performance, with both the G4 and G7 tiers falling under the Intel Iris Plus branding. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel launches 10th-gen 'Ice Lake' chips, pushing hard on graphics for notebook PCs," 1 Aug. 2019 Today, the descriptors on each bottle have multiplied, and there are far more decisions to make. Jessica Chia, Allure, "The Sunscreen Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know About SPF," 4 May 2019 Even church names suggest ancient grievances: Separate Baptist, with the descriptor in all-capital letters. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "The White Ghetto," 23 July 2019 Any decision to change either the performance descriptors or cut scores should utilize the past practice of engaging teachers in making recommendations. Patrick O'donnell,, "Has Ohio set test score targets too high for graduation? Study suggests it has," 16 July 2019 Now, the Boston Bruins left winger, who’s scored eight goals during the Stanley Cup Playoffs along with delivering a fair amount of hits — some fair, some not — can add one more descriptor to a growing list: Draymond Green. Andy Kostka, USA TODAY, "Charles Barkley doubles down on Marchand-Draymond Green comparison: You want to punch them in face," 5 June 2019 The adjectives that loop around these titles are often simply descriptors of summer-ness: airy, buoyant, salty, sunny, breezy. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "The Invention of the “Beach Read”," 14 June 2019 Harris used some of the same or similar descriptors to illustrate her feelings: Light. Alicia Delgallo, Pro Soccer USA, "Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris set boundaries to succeed as World Cup teammates, engaged couple," 5 June 2019

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

1946, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for descriptor

see describe

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Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for descriptor

The first known use of descriptor was in 1946

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a wrong name or inappropriate designation

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