Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A line indicating the outer contours or boundaries of an object or figure.
  • noun A style of drawing in which objects are delineated in contours without shading.
  • noun A sketch done in this style.
  • noun A summary of a text or subject, usually presented in headings and subheadings.
  • noun A preliminary draft or plan, as of a project or proposal.
  • transitive verb To draw or trace an outline of.
  • transitive verb To display or accentuate the outline of.
  • transitive verb To give the main features or various aspects of; summarize.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To draw the exterior line of; draw in outline; delineate; sketch the main features of.
  • noun The line, real or apparent, by which a figure is defined; the exterior line; contour; external figure.
  • noun A style or method of drawing in which an object or a scene is represented merely by lines of contour without shading.
  • noun A rough draft or first general sketch of the main features of some scheme or design, the details of which can be filled in later if need be; a description of the principal features only.
  • noun In angling, a set-line.
  • noun Synonyms Outline, Contour, Profile, Sketch, Delineation. Outline is, literally, the outer or exterior line; but the word is freely used for a representation by the principal or distinguishing lines. Contour and profile retain this distinctive meaning of the outside line, the former referring to the boundary of the whole figure in any position, and the latter to the boundary of face or figure when seen directly from one side, with figurative uses in architecture and surveying. A sketch fills up the outline to a greater or less degree, not completely, but so that a lively idea of the original object or scene is conveyed. Delineation is rather indefinite, but is more than an outline and may be complete. Outline, sketch, and delineation bear the same relation to one another when used to express the representation of a subject in words.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The line which marks the outer limits of an object or figure; the exterior line or edge; contour.
  • noun In art: A line drawn by pencil, pen, graver, or the like, by which the boundary of a figure is indicated.
  • noun A sketch composed of such lines; the delineation of a figure without shading.
  • noun Fig.: A sketch of any scheme; a preliminary or general indication of a plan, system, discourse, course of thought, etc..
  • transitive verb To draw the outline of.
  • transitive verb Fig.: To sketch out or indicate as by an outline; to create a general framework of (a plan, system, discourse, course of thought), for which the details need to be added.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A line marking the boundary of an object figure.
  • noun The outer shape of an object or figure.
  • noun A sketch or drawing in which objects are delineated in contours without shading.
  • noun A general description of some subject.
  • noun A statement summarizing the important points of a text.
  • noun A preliminary plan of a project.
  • noun film industry A prose telling of a story intended to be turned into a screenplay; generally longer and more detailed than a treatment.
  • verb transitive To draw an outline of something.
  • verb transitive To summarize something.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a schematic or preliminary plan
  • noun a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory
  • verb trace the shape of
  • verb describe roughly or briefly or give the main points or summary of
  • verb draw up an outline or sketch for something
  • noun the line that appears to bound an object

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

out +‎ line

Examples

  • A helpful way to make the transition from idea to outline is to ask yourself questions.

    Back on the horse ...

  • Although others will probably be able to expand my little story with many local customs from all over México, yes, even tamales, tamales and more tamales in some cases, I think you will find the general outline is much as I have written.

    OK! Now that I know . . . . . .

  • And the administration outline is is yet another good bill.

    Matthew Yglesias » Universal Catastrophic Insurance?

  • Once the outline is solid, then your draft comes alive immediately, with your best thinking and all the elements in place, in the RIGHT place.

    First Draft Secrets: Five Simple Steps | Write to Done

  • Although others will probably be able to expand my little story with many local customs from all over México, yes, even tamales, tamales and more tamales in some cases, I think you will find the general outline is much as I have written.

    OK! Now that I know . . . . . .

  • Although others will probably be able to expand my little story with many local customs from all over México, yes, even tamales, tamales and more tamales in some cases, I think you will find the general outline is much as I have written.

    OK! Now that I know . . . . . .

  • Although others will probably be able to expand my little story with many local customs from all over México, yes, even tamales, tamales and more tamales in some cases, I think you will find the general outline is much as I have written.

    OK! Now that I know . . . . . .

  • Saxon remembered her school geography, and with her mind's eye she saw a certain outline map of a continent with jiggly wavering parallel lines that denoted coast.

    CHAPTER II

  • Although others will probably be able to expand my little story with many local customs from all over México, yes, even tamales, tamales and more tamales in some cases, I think you will find the general outline is much as I have written.

    OK! Now that I know . . . . . .

  • Although others will probably be able to expand my little story with many local customs from all over México, yes, even tamales, tamales and more tamales in some cases, I think you will find the general outline is much as I have written.

    OK! Now that I know . . . . . .

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