tr.v. de·scribed, de·scrib·ing, de·scribes
1. To give an account of in speech or writing: describe a sea voyage.
2. To convey an idea or impression of; characterize: She described her childhood as a time of wonder and discovery.
3. To represent pictorially; depict: Goya's etchings describe the horrors of war in grotesque detail.
4. To trace the form or outline of: describe a circle with a compass.
[Middle English describen, from Latin dēscrībere, to write down : dē-, de- + scrībere, to write; see skrībh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: describe, narrate, recite, recount, relate, report
These verbs mean to tell the facts, details, or particulars of something in speech or in writing: described the accident; narrated their travel experiences; an explorer reciting her adventures; a mercenary recounting his exploits; related the day's events; reported what she had seen.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.