\ 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 Despite the apparent shade being thrown at Jeopardy!, Mayim seemed to be all about the sketch. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, 18 Oct. 2021 Otherwise, the sketch was effectively a primer on what the other Kardashian-Jenners are up to. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 10 Oct. 2021 The best sketch of the night, however, was one stacked with celebrity cameos. Washington Post, 10 Oct. 2021 This 2006 sketch was so beloved that it was re-performed in 2015. Ramsey Ess, Vulture, 7 Oct. 2021 The sketch is a showcase for Macdonald’s deadpan, voice-of-reason shtick — the perfect foil for the usual SNL absurdity. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 15 Sep. 2021 This is all part of the 30th Anniversary of Blizzard, and the sketch is available as wall art for $30 but only for 30 days. Erik Kain, Forbes, 13 May 2021 The sketch was about four adults playing Trivial Pursuit while one of their kids, Anthony Michael Hall, was upstairs fooling around with a time machine, changing all the answers. Mike Sacks, The New Yorker, 2 May 2021 This sketch is but an overview of the key reasons that rethinking corporate governance must be high on the agenda for the interlocking climate and Covid transitions. Mariana Mazzucato, The New Republic, 15 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Now, this Merrimack Valley district is under scrutiny as state lawmakers sketch new political districts in the once-in-a-decade process that follows the US Census., 8 Oct. 2021 Produced with the New York Times, the sequel seeks to sketch out a portrait of Spears’s life under the controlling conservatorship. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, 24 Sep. 2021 Friends and colleagues of Ross who do appear on film help sketch in some of those details. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2021 There’s a lot more actors, improvisers and sketch comics than many know about because there’s not a central place promoting them. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, 3 Sep. 2021 Now, groups are hurrying to ensure their voices are heard as Congress and the White House sketch out plans for the new agency. Lev Facher, STAT, 7 Aug. 2021 For Valle, this is a more effective way to sketch, less to account for exact dimension than for mood. New York Times, 9 Sep. 2021 After a few cocktails, the conversation would often turn to the physics of bowling balls, and Pinel would sketch out ideas for novel cores on bar napkins. Brendan I. Koerner, Wired, 27 May 2021 As lockdowns began, artists and models migrated to video conferencing—revolutionizing who gets to sketch and be sketched. Suhita Shirodkar, Wired, 1 Sep. 2021

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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Last Updated

25 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for sketch



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

More from Merriam-Webster on sketch

Nglish: Translation of sketch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sketch for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sketch


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