\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The sketch opened with a voice-over referring to Justice Samuel Alito making reference to a medieval jurist in his argument to overturn the decision. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 8 May 2022 The 13th century England sketch starred host Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Dismukes, Alex Moffat, Kate McKinnon, Chris Redd and Cecily Strong. Christy Piña, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 May 2022 Upon purchasing the whisky, collectors will receive Dai’s black and white sketch as a non-fungible token (NFT). Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 25 Apr. 2022 Tim and Harvey do the dentist sketch and not lose it. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 Apr. 2022 Part of the problem stemmed from the sketch’s many targets. Amanda Wicks, The Atlantic, 17 Apr. 2022 Like Cumberbatch, the band was also once the subject of an SNL game show sketch. Jillian Sederholm,, 17 Apr. 2022 The sketch made quick work of other trending topics from the past week. William Earl, Variety, 16 Apr. 2022 Nearby, that ostensible deficiency gets reiterated in an 1889 tabletop sculpture by Auguste Rodin and an 1890 oil sketch by Jean-Léon Gérôme. Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In 1999, during a period when the BBC had stopped making new episodes of Doctor Who, future showrunner Steven Moffat wrote an extended Doctor Who sketch for Britain's annual Red Nose Day telethon. Clark Collis,, 21 Mar. 2022 As an artist, I was fascinated by the extreme side of that, and the subtlety, and had to rush home to sketch it out. Eric Twardzik, Robb Report, 29 Mar. 2022 This suited Edison’s conception of inventorship very well: sketch a vague idea on the back of an envelope, then claim the finished product as his own once someone else had done all the hard work. Nat Segnit, Harper’s Magazine , 16 Mar. 2022 Sean McRae, a Black animator, illustrator and composer on the autism spectrum, can dream up an entire creative concept one night, compose music to it the next morning and sketch out visuals later that same day. Heran Mamo, Billboard, 1 Apr. 2022 Speculation demands ambition—the ability not only to sketch out the depths of human depravity, but also to pine for its redemption. ELLE, 1 Apr. 2022 By mid-February, as Russia continued to amass troops at the Russian border, E.U. officials sounded increasingly nervous about relying on Russian companies and started to sketch out new plans. Washington Post, 7 Mar. 2022 The president and his counterparts began to sketch out the response to Russia’s aggression that day in Rome. New York Times, 21 Feb. 2022 These tales sketch lives, societies and worlds that might have been and that could be – just as Le Guin did. oregonlive, 19 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sketch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sketch


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on sketch

Nglish: Translation of sketch for Spanish Speakers

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


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