Definition of describe in English:


See synonyms for describe

Translate describe into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Give an account in words of (someone or something), including all the relevant characteristics, qualities, or events.

    ‘the man was described as tall, clean-shaven, and with short dark hair’
    • ‘It is the size of a paper clip and is described as a cross between a stick insect and a praying mantis.’
    • ‘He had a clean-shaven, fair face and had what was described as a local accent.’
    • ‘For those who have dived upon an untouched shipwreck the experience is described as very moving indeed.’
    • ‘While writing she realised how few words we have to describe these experiences.’
    • ‘He was described as having blond eyebrows, blue eyes and a local accent.’
    • ‘Local history has often been described as the story of people in a place over time.’
    • ‘He has a single expression that might be described as pensive disappointment.’
    • ‘The film's narrative can best be described as a boy's adventure story turned tragic.’
    • ‘It is impossible for me to conjure up the words to adequately describe my own experiences.’
    • ‘There was only one word to describe his expression, every time I looked over at him.’
    • ‘What most people discover is that they use the same words to describe both experiences.’
    • ‘He is described as young and tall and was wearing a black tee-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap.’
    • ‘He is described as about 6ft tall, medium to thin build, with black and shaven hair.’
    • ‘The attackers were described as three black males wearing dark clothes.’
    • ‘He was described as fun-loving, adventurous and with a great sense of humour but also very dedicated.’
    • ‘Most methods have been described previously in detail.’
    • ‘People came from Norway on an arduous, and in some cases terrifying, voyage, vividly described here.’
    • ‘The situation described in the last paragraph is unlikely.’
    • ‘In the demographic campaign, the cities were described in the most gloomy terms.’
    report, narrate, recount, relate, tell of, set out, chronicle
    designate, pronounce, call, label, style, dub
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  • 2Mark out or draw (a geometric figure)

    ‘on the diameter of a circle an equilateral triangle is described’
    • ‘Then, with the compasses fixed at the right, an arc is described from the horizontal distance at the left to the left hand side of the "proscaenium".’
    • ‘Thus, an arc is described in Figure I from C which cuts the triangle at I and J.’
    • ‘After it has been well stretched, a circle is described with a piece of charcoal.’
    delineate, mark out, outline, trace, draw, sketch
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/dəˈskrīb/ /dəˈskraɪb/


Late Middle English from Latin describere, from de- ‘down’ + scribere ‘write’.