\ 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 Along with the Arbery painting, his sketches of Atatiana Jefferson sitting happily in her living room before being shot and killed by police and Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest of police brutality are among those that have traveled farthest. Los Angeles Times, "His Ahmaud Arbery portrait went viral. How an L.A. artist finds power in art," 9 May 2020 While this class does not teach fashion design, Marc Jacobs offers another MasterClass that will walk you through the steps of taking your sketch and turning it into a daring piece. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "15 of the Coolest MasterClass Courses You Can Take Right Now," 14 Apr. 2020 Bailey at the Movies Bailey Gismert breaks out of Update and gets her own sketch! Andy Hoglund,, "Saturday Night Live recap: Tom Hanks kicks off first at-home episode," 12 Apr. 2020 Last week, users showed off their best sketches of the finale rose dress from the label's fall/winter 2019 collection. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Alexander McQueen Challenges People to Make Florals Out of Random Materials," 10 Apr. 2020 Your first sketch was about the effect of the coronavirus on a global scale. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, "Christoph Niemann’s “Critical Mass”," 16 Mar. 2020 Have your kids write their own sketches and then put on a performance. Anna Lane, USA TODAY, "13 things to keep kids entertained if quarantined for coronavirus," 12 Mar. 2020 Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office released a sketch of the woman. Alyssa Stoney, azcentral, "Buckeye police looking to identify woman whose body was found in desert in April," 11 May 2020 Investigators created a composite sketch of the driver, who’s described as being 40 years old. oregonlive, "Police seek tips about driver who plowed over man in SE Portland (video)," 28 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At a Bidi Bidi water pump one recent morning, 10 women sat with their plastic jerry cans inside large chalk circles sketched on the ground, two meters apart. Dina Kraft, The Christian Science Monitor, "For refugees, a plea: You can’t beat a pandemic by leaving people out," 13 May 2020 During the Civil War, Meeker served as a paymaster on a US Navy gunboat in Louisiana and sketched the swamps in his spare time. Zachary Fine, The New York Review of Books, "Swampland Sublime: The Landscapes of Louisiana," 8 Feb. 2020 For generations, car designers started a new model by sketching a sensual line. Bradley Berman, New York Times, "Two New Cars, Designed From the Inside Out," 13 May 2020 Wochit Gale Halderman, a man known to classic car historians as the artist who sketched the original Ford Mustang, died Wednesday in the hospital at age 87 after suffering from liver cancer. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Original Ford Mustang designer dies, the last link to a celebrated era in car history," 30 Apr. 2020 At the beginning of her new novel, These Ghosts Are Family, Maisy Card sketches the swindler’s portrait: Decades prior, when his friend Stanford Solomon died on the job in England, Abel assumed the other Jamaican man’s identity. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "An Epic Novel Haunted by the Ghosts of Colonialism," 11 Mar. 2020 Could these be the Fortunate Isles sketched by ancient Greek cartographers? National Geographic, "Try the coveted wine that made this Portuguese island famous," 10 Jan. 2020 The tightly tangled lines of power and practical motives on which the movie runs are sketched plainly—even too conspicuously. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "What to Stream: Three Online Releases of Movies That Would Have Come to Theatres," 24 Apr. 2020 That’s been widely recognized at least since Plato first sketched his fascist fantasy of schooling in The Republic. Frederick M. Hess, National Review, "COVID-19 Took Away Public Education. Will We Miss It?," 16 Apr. 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

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sketch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 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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