from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A line marking the outer contours or boundaries of an object or figure.
  • n. The shape of an object or figure.
  • n. A style of drawing in which objects are delineated in contours without shading.
  • n. A sketch done in this style.
  • n. A general description covering the main points of a subject: an outline of American literature.
  • n. A statement summarizing the important points of a text.
  • n. A summary of a written work or speech, usually analyzed in headings and subheadings.
  • n. A preliminary draft or plan, as of a project or proposal.
  • transitive v. To draw an outline of.
  • transitive v. To display or accentuate the outline of.
  • transitive v. To give the main features or various aspects of; summarize: outlined the major provisions of the tax bill.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. The line which marks the outer limits of an object or figure; the exterior line or edge; contour.
  • n. In art: A line drawn by pencil, pen, graver, or the like, by which the boundary of a figure is indicated.
  • n. A sketch composed of such lines; the delineation of a figure without shading.
  • n. Fig.: A sketch of any scheme; a preliminary or general indication of a plan, system, discourse, course of thought, etc..
  • transitive v. To draw the outline of.
  • transitive v. 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 The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To draw the exterior line of; draw in outline; delineate; sketch the main features of.
  • n. The line, real or apparent, by which a figure is defined; the exterior line; contour; external figure.
  • n. A style or method of drawing in which an object or a scene is represented merely by lines of contour without shading.
  • n. 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.
  • n. In angling, a set-line.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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


out +‎ line (Wiktionary)



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