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. Displaced native Old English āmearcian.
- (transitive) To represent in words.
- The feeling is difficult to describe, but not unpleasant.
- The geographer describes countries and cities.
- Several witnesses describe seeing lights in the sky that night.
- 2014, Daniel Taylor, "Sergio Agüero strike wins derby for Manchester City against 10-man United," guardian.co.uk, November 2, 2014
- Yet the truth is that City would probably have been coasting by that point if the referee, Michael Oliver, had not turned down three separate penalties, at least two of which could be accurately described as certainties.
- 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in The Unknown Ajax:
- […] his lordship was out of humour. That was the way Chollacombe described as knaggy an old gager as ever Charles had had the ill-fortune to serve. Stiff-rumped, that's what he was, always rubbing the rust, or riding grub, like he had been for months past.
- (transitive) To represent by drawing; to draw a plan of; to delineate; to trace or mark out.
- to describe a circle by the compasses; a torch waved about the head in such a way as to describe a circle
- (transitive, mathematics) To give rise to a geometrical structure.
- The function describes a very complex surface.
- (transitive, taxonomy) To introduce a new taxon to science by explaining its characteristics and particularly how it differs from other taxa.
- The fungus was first described by a botanist.
- (obsolete) To distribute into parts, groups, or classes; to mark off; to class.
- (to represent in words): portray, betell, depict, report; see also Thesaurus:describe
- (to represent in writing): bewrite
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- “describe” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- “describe” in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
- to describe