American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To give an account of in speech or writing.
- v. To convey an idea or impression of; characterize: She described her childhood as a time of wonder and discovery.
- v. To represent pictorially; depict: Goya's etchings describe the horrors of war in grotesque detail.
- v. To trace the form or outline of: describe a circle with a compass.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To delineate or mark the form or figure of; trace out; outline: as, to describe a circle with the compasses.
- To form or trace by motion: as, a star describes an ellipse in the heavens.
- To write down; inscribe.
- To represent orally or by writing; portray in words; give an account of: as, to describe a person or a scene; to describe a battle.
- To distribute into classes or divisions; divide for representation.
- Synonyms Describe, Narrate, portray, explain. Describe applies primarily to what exists—space, and by extension to what occurs—time, but narrate applies only to the latter: as, to describe a view, a race, or a siege; to narrate an experience or a history. Describe implies often the vividness of personal observation; narrate is more applicable to long series of events. A single narrative may contain many descriptions of separate events.
- To make descriptions; use the power of describing.
- v. transitive To represent in words.
- v. transitive (mathematics) To give rise to a geometrical structure.
- v. transitive (biology) To scientifically reveal a new species by technically explaining its characteristics and particularly how it differs from other species.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To represent by drawing; to draw a plan of; to delineate; to trace or mark out
- v. To represent by words written or spoken; to give an account of; to make known to others by words or signs.
- v. obsolete To distribute into parts, groups, or classes; to mark off; to class.
- v. To use the faculty of describing; to give a description.
- v. make a mark or lines on a surface
- v. to give an account or representation of in words
- v. give a description of
- v. identify as in botany or biology, for example
- From Middle English descriven, from Old French descrivre, from Latin dēscrībō ("I copy off, transcribe, sketch off, describe in painting or writing"), from dē ("off") + scrībō ("write"); see scribe and shrive. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English describen, from Latin dēscrībere, to write down : dē-, de- + scrībere, to write; see skrībh- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Does the title describe families who compete, or families who watch?”
“Sorry DNC, That bizarre behavior you describe is actually integrity.”
“Ted, I used to be a civvy turnkey in a VERY busy police office in Glasgow, and the scenario you describe is how it worked there with the arresting officers each taking hold of one arm of the prisoner while I was searching him.”
“Morgan, what you describe is just a replacement for the semi-broken Medicaid system.”
“I'd love to hear Palin describe why she was in favor of end of life counseling when she was governor of Alaska but now against it when it is politically oportunistic.”
“Apparently if I let my brain describe setting, build narrative structure, and provide character snark for long enough, it'll start developing a plot in self-defense, as I figured out a bunch of things today which will prove useful when it comes to actually giving the current amorplous blob of story some shape and tension.”
“So now you know from where I came, next country to describe is Germany ….”
“What you proceed to describe is not a technical catch, just your own policy preferences.”
“The key difference between this view of the situation and the one you describe is that my post describes a view based upon the impact upon a culture collectively and ignoring individuals, while yours looks only at individuals (Accepting for the sake of arguement that this includes fetuses) and ignores concerns over the cultural impact.”
“In fact, the rig you describe is the modern-day, more economical version of what I had when I was young.”
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