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out +‎ line



outline ‎(plural outlines)

  1. A line marking the boundary of an object figure.
  2. The outer shape of an object or figure.
  3. A sketch or drawing in which objects are delineated in contours without shading.
    • Dryden
      Painters, by their outlines, colours, lights, and shadows, represent the same in their pictures.
  4. A general description of some subject.
  5. A statement summarizing the important points of a text.
  6. A preliminary plan for a project.
    the outline of a speech
  7. (film industry) A prose telling of a story intended to be turned into a screenplay; generally longer and more detailed than a treatment.


See alsoEdit


outline ‎(third-person singular simple present outlines, present participle outlining, simple past and past participle outlined)

  1. (transitive) To draw an outline of something.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[1]:
      He stood transfixed before the unaccustomed view of London at night time, a vast panorama which reminded him […] of some wood engravings far off and magical, in a printshop in his childhood. They dated from the previous century and were coarsely printed on tinted paper, with tinsel outlining the design.
  2. (transitive) To summarize something.
    Wikipedia items featuring books usually outline them after giving their background.
    • 1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter VIII, The Younger Set:
      At her invitation he outlined for her the succeeding chapters with terse military accuracy ; and what she liked best and best understood was avoidance of that false modesty which condescends, turning technicality into pabulum.


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