\ ˈskech How to pronounce sketch (audio) \

Definition of sketch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a rough drawing representing the chief features of an object or scene and often made as a preliminary study
b : a tentative draft (as for a literary work)
2 : a brief description (as of a person) or outline
3a : a short literary composition somewhat resembling the short story and the essay but intentionally slight in treatment, discursive in style, and familiar in tone
b : a short instrumental composition usually for piano
c : a slight theatrical piece having a single scene especially : a comic variety act


sketched; sketching; sketches

Definition of sketch (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make a sketch, rough draft, or outline of

intransitive verb

: to draw or paint a sketch

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Other Words from sketch


sketcher noun

Synonyms for sketch

Synonyms: Noun

cartoon, delineation, drawing

Synonyms: Verb

define, delineate, outline, silhouette, trace

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Examples of sketch in a Sentence


He made a sketch of his house. He wrote up a sketch of the plot. There is a biographical sketch of the author on the book's back cover.


He sketched the trees outside his window. He likes to sit outside and sketch. She sketched the plan for us.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Frank, in particular, is a pitch-perfect sketch of a certain kind of male neediness. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Netflix’s F Is for Family examines the dark core of the angry sitcom dad," 2 Dec. 2018 This is the sketch of plans for a 'shrine of skulls' drawn by a serial killer who killed - and in some cases ate - 17 men and boys. Fox News, "Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's sketch showed plans for 'shrine of skulls'," 10 Sep. 2018 They were filled with markers, pens, sketch pads, stocking caps, purses, hair bows, a necklace, a handmade quilt — and about 500 paper flowers. Allison Klein, Washington Post, "‘Daisies for Daisy’: 11-year-old battling cancer is showered with birthday gifts from strangers," 16 Apr. 2018 Armed with sketch pads and cameras, the students rotated in one-hour shifts, standing before a bank of windows. Joe Starita, miamiherald, "1983: Christo's army surrounds 10 islands," 29 May 2018 Strathmore sketch pad, colored pencils, Pentel Tradio Pulaman Disposable Fountain Pen, rubber cement. Jane Larkworthy, The Cut, "Daniel Kaner of Oribe Wants to Bottle Kindness and Compassion," 2 May 2018 For those who’d like to go analog, join the SF Sketchers and record your observations on a sketch pad. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Kids listings," 19 Apr. 2018 Van Alen sent floor plans, sketches, and sections to Chrysler’s office, where the car magnate would spread the papers across the floor and crawl around examining each detail. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "A Friendship Turned to Rivalry. A Feud That Changed the New York Skyline.," 27 Mar. 2019 The show highlights daily Fringe buzz, guest interviews, sketches, video segments and live music. Orlando Sentinel,, "PODCAST: Orlando Fringe Festival – How to Fringe like a pro (Ep. 26)," 8 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The design team sketched out a squat, wide crossover with sporty lines and an aggressive end, and sent the engineers off to build it. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "2019 Chevy Blazer Test Drive: What Happened When GM Tried To Make the Crossover Cool," 4 Feb. 2019 In the evenings, the fragrant nook, festooned with antique copper pie molds and sketched pie designs, becomes a private dining room, available to rent out for pie feasts. Jay Cheshes, WSJ, "Where to Find London’s Premium Pies," 23 Jan. 2019 Ray Murray, who had been in charge of the Aurora Bridge construction project, sketched out a route for a waterfront viaduct in 1934. Michelle Baruchman, The Seattle Times, "A look back at the Alaskan Way Viaduct as its demise — and the new Highway 99 tunnel — draw near," 7 Jan. 2019 Kristov, De Martini, and Taft sketch two ways that the profusion of DERs can be managed, involving different roles for TSOs and DSOs. David Roberts, Vox, "Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt.," 30 Nov. 2018 That work included a 3D laser scan of the tomb along with painstaking cleaning, sketching, and photography. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient “comic strip” depicts the founding of a Roman city," 10 Oct. 2018 Real policy proposals are no doubt coming soon — most likely along the lines sketched out above, aiming to change its enforcement culture and scope. Margo Schlanger, Washington Post, "You’ve heard the calls to #AbolishICE. Here’s what that could mean.," 9 July 2018 In 1846, the second longest-reigning monarch, Queen Victoria, was sketched with her children and husband, Prince Albert, alongside a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle. Nicol Natale, Woman's Day, "Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?," 15 Nov. 2018 Pete stayed up that night, furiously sketching out ideas. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Pete Nelson's Latest Project Proves He's The Ultimate Treehouse Master," 4 Oct. 2018

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


1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1694, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for sketch


Dutch schets, from Italian schizzo, literally, splash, from schizzare to splash, of imitative origin

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Statistics for sketch

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for sketch

The first known use of sketch was in 1668

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More Definitions for sketch



English Language Learners Definition of sketch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a quick, rough drawing that shows the main features of an object or scene
: a short description of something
: a short, funny performance



English Language Learners Definition of sketch (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a quick, rough drawing of (something)
: to describe (something) briefly


\ ˈskech How to pronounce sketch (audio) \

Kids Definition of sketch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a rough outline or drawing showing the main features of something
2 : a short written work (as a story or essay)
3 : a short comic performance


sketched; sketching

Kids Definition of sketch (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make a drawing, rough draft, or outline of
2 : to describe or outline (something) briefly Should the scheme he had now sketched prove feasible, Silver … would not hesitate to adopt it.— Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

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More from Merriam-Webster on sketch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sketch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sketch

Spanish Central: Translation of sketch

Nglish: Translation of sketch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sketch for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sketch

Comments on sketch

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having no equal

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