Synonyms & Antonyms of outline

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to draw or make apparent the outline of
  • she carefully outlined the tree before she started drawing in the leaves

Synonyms for outline

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2 to make into a short statement of the main points (as of a report)
  • outlined the important points in the introduction

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Synonyms & Antonyms of outline (Entry 2 of 2)

1 a line that traces the outer limits of an object or surface
  • place your hand on the paper and draw an outline around it

Synonyms for outline

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2 a short statement of the main points
  • a printed outline of the lecture has been made available for all attendees

Synonyms for outline

Words Related to outline

Near Antonyms for outline

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Frequently Asked Questions About outline

How does the noun outline differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of outline are contour, profile, and silhouette. While all these words mean "the line that bounds and gives form to something," outline applies to a line marking the outer limits or edges of a body or mass.

traced the outline of his hand

When might contour be a better fit than outline?

The meanings of contour and outline largely overlap; however, contour stresses the quality of an outline or a bounding surface as being smooth, jagged, curving, or sharply angled.

a car with flowing contours

When can profile be used instead of outline?

In some situations, the words profile and outline are roughly equivalent. However, profile suggests a varied and sharply defined outline against a lighter background.

a portrait of her face in profile

When is it sensible to use silhouette instead of outline?

The synonyms silhouette and outline are sometimes interchangeable, but silhouette suggests a shape especially of a head or figure with all detail blacked out in shadow leaving only the outline clearly defined.

photograph in silhouette against a bright sky

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Time Traveler for outline

Time Traveler

The first known use of outline was in 1662

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Cite this Entry

“Outline.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on outline

Nglish: Translation of outline for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of outline for Arabic Speakers


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