American Dictionary of the English Language

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DESCRIBE, verb transitive [Latin To write.]

1. To delineate or mark the form or figure; as, to describe a circle by the compasses.

2. To make or exhibit a figure by motion; as, a star describes a circle or an ellipsis in the heavens.

3. To show or represent to others in words; to communicate the resemblance of a thing, by naming its nature, form or properties. The poet describes the Trojan horse. The historian describes the battle of Pharsalia. The moralist describes the effects of corrupt manners. The geographer describes countries and cities.

4. To represent by signs. A deaf and dumb man may describe a distant object. Our passions may be described by external motions.

5. To draw a plan; to represent by lines and other marks on paper, or other material; as, to describe the surface of the earth by a map or chart.

6. To define laxly.