\ 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 Most of the sketches were drawn specifically for the project, which will also provide kids with colored pencils and a sharpener. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Detroit Gallery Is Providing Kids With Coloring Books—and Meals—Amid COVID-19," 19 Mar. 2020 The Houston Texans star and native of Pewaukee will serve as the guest star for the 45-year-old sketch comedy phenomenon, with country star Luke Combs serving as musical guest. SNL!!!! Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here are 16 Wisconsinites who've guest-hosted or performed on 'Saturday Night Live' before J.J. Watt," 22 Jan. 2020 Succession is the creation of Jesse Armstrong, a British showrunner who worked on the sketch comedy series Peep Show and later collaborated with the satirist Armando Iannucci on The Thick of It, In the Loop, and VEEP. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "How Succession Skewers the Rich," 9 Sep. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the novel Our Riches (New Directions, $15.95), translated from the French by Chris Andrews, the Algerian writer Kaouther Adimi sketches a tender portrait of Charlot and his store. Julian Lucas, Harper's Magazine, "New Books," 30 Mar. 2020 Write a few lines in a journal, pick up a favorite craft, cook something or just sketch a little bird today. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for March 26: Coronavirus, economy, Dems, cruise, Great Barrier Reef," 26 Mar. 2020 That included sketching, approving every single sample, and making ⅛-inch modifications. Dan Reilly, Fortune, "These soccer stars wanted to rep a company that aligned with their values—so they created one," 21 Mar. 2020 Curreri had prepared four easels and sketched the lines of the cactus on each canvas. Brendan Fitzgerald, Longreads, "“I miss my body when it was ferocious” The Transfiguration of Paul Curreri," 14 Mar. 2020 Last week, the boys wrote poems, came up with alliterative sentences, sketched animals, and submitted math worksheets and recordings of themselves reading to their teachers. Serena Ng, WSJ, "How One Family Is Dealing With Life, Disrupted," 12 Mar. 2020 Others typed out five-paragraph essays, sketched a self-portrait, or even submitted an image of an umbilical cord magnified under a microscope. Lila Thulin, Smithsonian Magazine, "More Than Forty Years Later, Artists Answer a Still-Relevant Question: ‘What Is Feminist Art?’," 6 Mar. 2020 That’s why the BIS, sometimes called the central bank for central banks, published a report sketching out possible designs for a peer-to-peer central bank digital currency. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Central banks are contemplating a world without cash," 1 Mar. 2020 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

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

3 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sketch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 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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