Word family noun description adjective describableindescribable nondescript descriptive verb describe adverb descriptively
From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishdescribede‧scribe /dɪˈskraɪb/ ●●● S2 W1 verb [transitive] 1 DESCRIBEto say what something or someone is like by giving details about them The police asked her to describe the man. Another approach to the problem is described in Chapter 3.describe somebody/something as (being/having) something After the operation her condition was described as comfortable. The youth is described as being 18 to 19 years old.describe how/why/what etc It’s difficult to describe how I feel.describe somebody/something to somebody So describe this new boyfriend to me!describe doing something He described finding his mother lying on the floor.2 describe a circle/an arc etcTHESAURUSdescribe to talk or write about a person, place, event etc, in order to show what they are likeCould you try and describe the man you saw?In her book, she describes her journey across the Sahara.Police described the attack as particularly violent.tell somebody about somebody/something to describe someone or something to someone. This phrase is more commonly used than describe in everyday spoken EnglishSo, tell me about your holiday!My friends have told me all about you!depict formal to describe someone or something in a piece of writingHis stories depict life in Trinidad as seen through the eyes of a young boy.In this new biography she is depicted as a lonely and unhappy woman.portray/represent formal to describe someone or something in a particular wayCollege teachers are often represented on television shows as slightly eccentric.The magazine has been criticized for the way it portrays women.The treatment has been portrayed as a painless way of curing cancer, which is simply not true.Police have represented her as a willing participant in the crimes.characterize somebody/something as something formal to describe someone or something by emphasizing one particular quality or feature about themHe characterized himself as ‘an average American’.The successful schools were characterized as innovative and creative.paint somebody/something as something to describe someone or something, especially in a way that makes people believe something that is not trueNot all young people are as bad as they’re painted in the press.We won, yet the media is painting it as a victory for our opponents. The woman was painted as having only a slight grasp of reality.paint a picture to describe a situation, so that people can get a general idea of what it is likeCan you paint a picture of life in Japan for us?My uncle’s letters generally painted a rosy picture of how things were.The report painted a bleak picture of the management’s failures. → See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
describeThe need for time-cues to produce a body clock with a stable 24-hour period has already been described.Piaget described and accounted for the change of schemata with accommodation.In her book, she describes her journey across the Sahara.It would be impossible to list them all or to describe how at different times they have been better or worse.It's difficult to describe how I felt.Our other project for this year - the Glenburrell bridge - was described in detail in the last Journal.Many of the players to whom we spoke described in some detail their own experiences of playing when injured.The brokerage we just described is but one example of an enterprise at odds with itself.To describe myself as Black in a situation where most people shared my complexion was absurd.Police described the attack as particularly violent.This Navajo folk tale describes the creation of the Earth.I tried to describe the feeling to my doctor, but she didn't understand.Could you try and describe the man you saw?I will also try to describe why, after a decade of using Macintosh, I still find it exhilarating.How would you describe yourself?describe somebody/something as (being/having) somethingDickens describes it merely as' a genteel old-fashioned house, very quiet and orderly.Eva would never have described herself as anti-white, but she was definitely pro-black.An hour later, they described him as cheerful.Greenpeace has described the Humber as the most polluted river in Britain and a substantial contributor to North Sea pollution.Of course they began howling and describing me as the villain and the enemy of peace.In a pilot experiment subjects attempted to describe films as they watched them in the way described by Hughes and Cole.
Origin describe (1400-1500) Latin describere, from scribere to write