1. To represent by drawing; to draw a plan of; to delineate; to trace or mark out; as, to describe a circle by the compasses; a torch waved about the head in such a way as to describe a circle.

2. To represent by words written or spoken; to give an account of; to make known to others by words or signs; as, the geographer describes countries and cities.

3. To distribute into parts, groups, or classes; to mark off; to class. "Passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book." (Josh. Xviii. 9)

Synonyms: To set forth, represent, delineate, relate, recount, narrate, express, explain, depict, portray, chracterize.

Origin: L. Describere, descriptum; de- + scribere to write: cf. OE. Descriven, OF. Descrivre, F. Decrire. See Scribe, and cf. Descry.

(01 Mar 1998)