\ 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

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of sketch in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb 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 The film shows the entire journey from initial sketches and wheel inspections all the way through to sheets of aluminum being stamped, cut and folded to fit Rimowa's iconic suitcase mold. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "Rimowa and Dior Have Teamed Up for the Ultimate Airport Status Symbol," 17 Jan. 2020 The Washington Post's Dave Jorgenson, who serves as both a video journalist for the paper and as the face of the company's TikTok account, employs humor, stunts and sketches to give viewers a glimpse of life inside the newsroom. Kerry Flynn, CNN, "With dance challenges and explainer videos, publishers invade TikTok to court Gen Z," 16 Jan. 2020 Take in an art-making session led by guest artists, sketch in the galleries, pose in a photo booth and indulge in a snack or coffee from the Buon Giorno Coffee Trike. Deborah Fleck, Dallas News, "17 fun things to do the week of Jan. 3-9 in Dallas-Fort Worth," 2 Jan. 2020 After the 90-minute episode, SNL released two unaired sketches on YouTube that were cut from the show due to a lack of time. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Eddie Murphy, Lizzo, and Aidy Bryant Had the Best Sketch on 'SNL' Last Week and It Didn't Even Air," 29 Dec. 2019 This very sketch was used to redesign the The Dolder Grand's new wings. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "The Best Room At ... the Dolder Grand Zurich," 28 Dec. 2019 Murphy barely missed a step, throwing himself into every sketch with unguarded delight. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Eddie Murphy’s Triumphant Return to Saturday Night Live," 22 Dec. 2019 Most were short comic sketches, and several used the tools or trappings of the classroom. Jori Finkel, New York Times, "John Baldessari, Who Gave Conceptual Art a Dose of Humor, Is Dead at 88," 5 Jan. 2020 The first sketch after the monologue assuaged any lingering doubts that Murphy wouldn’t be 100 percent committed to the material. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Eddie Murphy’s Triumphant Return to Saturday Night Live," 22 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ten years on, the world-class, high-speed rail network sketched out by Obama is nowhere to be seen. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "A decade ago, the US was promised high-speed rail—so where is it?," 27 Dec. 2019 But sketching out a new history is best achieved by a generous perspective, so the willingness to roam far and wide is constructive. Los Angeles Times, "Review: For the black artists of CAAM’s ‘L.A. Blacksmith,’ metal has meaning," 27 Sep. 2019 Chapter Two, with a screenplay by Gary Dauberman, is a concerted effort to dig into the myth of Pennywise, sketching out a video-gamey quest to defeat him. David Sims, The Atlantic, "It Chapter Two Is a Blockbuster Horror Epic," 3 Sep. 2019 Over margaritas, a person familiar with the meeting said, the group spent several hours sketching out what reform initiatives to test in the Restart units. Ian Macdougall, ProPublica, "New York City Paid McKinsey Millions to Stem Jail Violence. Instead, Violence Soared.," 10 Dec. 2019 The growth is expected to reach such levels that the FBI has sketched out sites for future buildings to meet whatever challenges arise to help protect the country, Hamilton said. Paul Gattis |, al, "FBI building college-like campus at Redstone Arsenal," 5 Dec. 2019 In what follows, our authors diagnose the discontents of the American worker and sketch out a pro-worker agenda, which must begin with a greater appreciation of the worth of Americans who don’t have four-year college degrees. Jack Fowler, National Review, "Five Special Reasons Your Support Matters," 30 Oct. 2019 Little shared detailed memories of his victims and sketched likenesses of them. Hal Boedeker,, "‘60 Minutes’: Prolific serial killer sketches victims; he says he slayed 12 in Florida," 4 Oct. 2019 Earthquakes, fires and power outages top the list of natural disasters most likely to affect Southern California residents, making certain supplies particularly useful for anyone sketching out the medical aspects of a household disaster plan. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Don’t forget your medications when building your disaster plan," 1 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for sketch

Time Traveler

The first known use of sketch was in 1668

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Statistics for sketch

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sketch.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for sketch


How to pronounce sketch (audio)

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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Comments on sketch

What made you want to look up sketch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


dull or mediocre

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