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

  • transitive v. To draw or trace the outline of; sketch out.
  • transitive v. To represent pictorially; depict.
  • transitive v. To depict in words or gestures; describe. See Synonyms at represent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To sketch out, draw or trace an outline.
  • v. To depict, represent with pictures.
  • v. To describe or depict with words or gestures.
  • v. To outline or mark out.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Delineated; portrayed.
  • transitive v. To indicate by lines drawn in the form or figure of; to represent by sketch, design, or diagram; to sketch out; to portray; to picture; in drawing and engraving, to represent in lines, as with the pen, pencil, or graver; hence, to represent with accuracy and minuteness. See delineation.
  • transitive v. To portray to the mind or understanding by words; to set forth; to describe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To exhibit or mark out in lines; sketch or represent in outline: as, to delineate the form of the earth or a diagram.
  • To represent pictorially; draw a likeness of; portray; depict.
  • To describe; represent to the mind or understanding; exhibit it likeness of in words: as, to delineate character.

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

  • adj. represented accurately or precisely
  • v. make a mark or lines on a surface
  • v. describe in vivid detail
  • v. show the form or outline of
  • v. determine the essential quality of
  • v. trace the shape of


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

Latin dēlīneāre, dēlīneāt- : dē-, de- + līnea, line, thread; see line1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin delineatus, past participle of dēlīneo ("to sketch out, to delineate"), from de- + līnea ("line")


  • The inability to see is an inability to "delineate": a persistent equation in the novel ( "Over him hung a form which I cannot find words to describe," Walton says [152]).

    _Frankenstein_'s Cinematic Dream

  • Professor has finished measuring, and is preparing to "delineate" me.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 93, September 24, 1887

  • So the first order of business at the Trial of Barack Obama was to "delineate" (I think he just meant "delete") the most explosive charges -- treason and sedition -- from the indictment.

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  • Canada's laws also seem to "delineate" medical quackery and fraud somewhat differently from those in the United States.

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  • That's because the DOT will better "delineate" crosswalks.

    New Haven Independent

  • The other two pads Orion proposes would "delineate" where the company might have economic production of natural gas in the area, Harris said.

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  • Elsewhere I have discussed the importance and volatility of the figure of the body in aesthetic discourse (see Redfield, ch. 2); for present purposes it will suffice to note the emphatically aesthetic vocabulary with which Victor seeks to "delineate" his creature’s monstrosity.

    _Frankenstein_'s Cinematic Dream

  • Tallies of living languages differ widely depending on how evaluators delineate one language from another.

    The English Is Coming!

  • Although it depicts an entire hemisphere of the smallest planet, shadows delineate many of the features and would not, of course, be visible if this were a true "full Mercury" view taken from the direction of the Sun.

    Starwatch: Mercury in view

  • It floats in a state of apparent anti gravity, capturing its light within to graphically delineate a structural net as a soft external shadow of itself.

    Lamp in a Bulb


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  • verb: describe in detail

    After a brief summary of proper swimming technique, the coach delineated the specifics of each stroke, spending 30 minutes alone on the backstroke.

    October 19, 2016

  • It seems like this word should mean to remove the lines that separate things, and lineate should mean to make draw those lines.

    September 2, 2007