• IPA: /dəˈskɹaɪb/, /dɪsˈkɹaɪb/

describe (describes, present participle describing; past and past participle described)

  1. (transitive) To represent in words.
    The feeling is difficult to describe, but not unpleasant.
    The geographer describes countries and cities.
  2. (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
    • 1826, James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans
      Uncas described an arc in the water with his own blade, and as the canoe passed swiftly on, Chingachgook recovered his paddle, and flourishing it on high, he gave the war-whoop of the Mohicans.
  3. (transitive, mathematics) To give rise to a geometrical structure.
    The function describes a very complex surface.
  4. (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.
  5. (obsolete) To distribute into parts, groups, or classes; to mark off; to class.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Joshua 18:9 ↗:
      Passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book.
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