\ 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 result is a spread of rough sketches that help bring the story of the water to life. Jenny Porter Tilley, Indianapolis Star, "Bloomington native Michael Koryta takes on new identity with new novel, pen name," 5 Mar. 2020 Some of these oil sketches were used as aides mémoires or as studies for bigger paintings. Washington Post, "You’ve probably never heard of these artists, but they painted reality in a way we’ve lost sight of," 25 Feb. 2020 But the craziest part of the sketch weren't the risque comments. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Shawn Mendes Had the Best Reaction to Harry Styles Saying His Name Wrong," 21 Nov. 2019 To Davidson's point, many of his most memorable sketches on the series have either called on him to embody one-dimensional characters like the not-so-bright Chad, or play on the most intimate (and morbid) details of his life. Ineye Komonibo,, "Pete Davidson Feels Bullied By SNL Cast: “They Think I’m F-ing Dumb”," 25 Feb. 2020 All three actors were actually born in Boston—and Fallon and Dratch immortalized the accent with their recurring SNL sketch—which makes things extra clever. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Super Bowl Commercials 2020: The Best Celebrity Appearances," 2 Feb. 2020 The 18-year-old has sold about 200 copies of his comics online and peddled a few dozen more from a cardboard box decorated in his sketches at area festivals, fairs and at his school. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Teen comic book artist from Goshen gains national attention with 'Adventures of Fro-Man'," 23 Jan. 2020 Martin made his own, highly ambitious (some might say impractical) sketches that featured bursts of fire, falling water and mechanical statues powered by a windmill. oregonlive, "Portland’s whimsical Weather Machine has been forecasting from Pioneer Courthouse Square since 1988," 11 Jan. 2020 Dos Passos presents his eccentric biographical sketches of Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt alongside portraits of radicals: the Socialist Presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs, the radical essayist Randolph Bourne, the labor organizer Joe Hill. Matt Hanson, The New Yorker, "What John Dos Passos’s “1919” Got Right About 2019," 29 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Payroll Tax Cut Back at the White House on Monday, Trump found aides prepared to sketch out ways to accommodate his desire for an economic plan in a meeting scheduled for shortly after his arrival. Jennifer Jacobs, Fortune, "Aboard the Air Force One flight that shook Trump into action on the coronavirus," 11 Mar. 2020 The president's proposals do not have the force of law and are used to sketch out where the administration's priorities lie. Kimberly Leonard, Washington Examiner, "Trump calls for ending FDA authority for regulating tobacco," 10 Feb. 2020 In Brussels, European Council President Charles Michel and EU Commission leader Ursula von der Leyen are due to sketch out the EU’s first steps as a group of 27, rather than 28. Washington Post, "Johnson hails UK’s ‘new beginning’ as Brexit day arrives," 31 Jan. 2020 Their aim was to sketch out a global economic system that could aid post-war recovery, among other things. Robin Kaiser-schatzlein, The New Republic, "Everyone Wants to Be a Bank," 6 Jan. 2020 Siddiqi began sketching out a plan for a training program with Birbeck and Igor Koralnik, another American neurologist in Zambia. Oliver Staley, Quartz Africa, "Zambia has 17 million people, a stroke epidemic, and no neurologists," 30 Dec. 2019 Young blue stars help make up the outline of the face, while other groupings of new stars seem to sketch out a mouth and nose. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Spooky 'face' spotted in space by Hubble," 28 Oct. 2019 Beds are not linear, and instead follow the flow of the space — Klein climbed onto the roof to sketch out the plan many years ago. Amy Pennington, The Seattle Times, "A couple’s Rainier Beach garden is a place of creativity, vision and function," 19 May 2019 Musselman and a group of colleagues used historical data to sketch out what the rain-on-snow flood risk looks like across western North America—and how that risk is likely to change in a warming world. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "A warmer world means a greater risk rain lands on snow, triggering floods," 12 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for sketch

Time Traveler

The first known use of sketch was in 1668

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Statistics for sketch

Last Updated

20 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sketch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 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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