\ 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 This stop-motion sketch-comedy show helped put Adult Swim on the map in the 2000s. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 50 Best TV Shows on HBO Max," 13 Jan. 2021 Jim Carrey’s Joe Biden impression fell flat in a year when the news is stranger than anything sketch-comedy writers can come up with. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "20 top TV moments of 2020: From 'Jeopardy!' to 'Tiger King' and that wild election," 23 Dec. 2020 Despite the obvious pitfalls of performing live without physical human interaction, Robinson said that Zoom sketch comedy has its silver linings. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, "After summer’s racial reckoning, a Groundlings member checks in," 22 Dec. 2020 The popular sketch-comedy series reportedly adopted strict COVID protocols before returning to live, in-studio shows on Oct. 3, in an effort to keep cast and crew safe. Ben Flanagan |, al, "‘SNL’ roasts Morgan Wallen for partying in Tuscaloosa," 5 Dec. 2020 Her first comedy sketch show, Everything’s Fine, hit Netflix in late October. Sarah Frier,, "Sarah Cooper, the Trump Needler-in-Chief," 3 Dec. 2020 The creative team's sketch-comedy roots appear evident in some of the sillier situations, which have the understated tone of a British comedy. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Moonbase 8' is a pretty weightless Showtime comedy," 6 Nov. 2020 Remember the old Friday-night SCTV show, maybe the funniest sketch-comedy show there ever was? Kyle Smith, National Review, "Could Biden Blow This Thing?," 30 Oct. 2020 The comedian will return to host the live comedy sketch show on Oct. 31. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "John Mulaney and The Strokes set as next Saturday Night Live host and musical guest," 25 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After selecting the color of the wig based on the tone of the dress and jewelry, Pilcher would sketch and design the Queen's look. Hannah Morrill, Marie Claire, "'Bridgerton's Hair Designer Talks Wigs, Wefts, and Whistledown," 12 Jan. 2021 But sketch, with its reliance on a script and its need for a more structured narrative, was far more difficult to pull off. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, "After summer’s racial reckoning, a Groundlings member checks in," 22 Dec. 2020 That includes writing jokes, sketch comedy and parody songs, while also performing standup comedy and, in recent years, relishing time spent in the no-safety-net-below world of improv comedy. cleveland, "South Euclid author assembles book of Ohio-themed jokes," 9 Dec. 2020 One preprint, published November 16, began to sketch out the lifespans for these critical components of the immune system among 185 coronavirus patients. Sarah Elizabeth Richards, Science, "Already had the coronavirus? You could get it again.," 1 Dec. 2020 Or imagine a Dungeons & Dragons sketch with diehard player Diesel. Derek Lawrence,, "It's time for Vin Diesel to finally host Saturday Night Live — and be the musical guest," 14 Oct. 2020 Sunak will deliver an update on the economic situation on Wednesday and sketch out his plans for borrowing and spending after the pandemic. Charles Riley, CNN, "No-deal Brexit would be worse for the UK economy than Covid-19, says Bank of England governor," 24 Nov. 2020 Bracing for the next wave Trapped in a holding pattern as the coronavirus continues to burn across the nation, doctors and nurses have been taking stock of the damage done so far, and trying to sketch out the horizon beyond. New York Times, "Covid Combat Fatigue: ‘I Would Come Home With Tears in My Eyes’," 25 Nov. 2020 The puppets were created in the Japanese animation studio of Tadahito Mochinaga, who traveled to a deer sanctuary in Nara to study and sketch a herd of deer before Ichiro Komuro, an artist in the studio, began to work. Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic, "The Christmas Special From Hell," 24 Nov. 2020

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

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sketch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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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