April 11, 2012
describe (verb)
\dih-SKRYBE\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to represent or give an account of in words
How do you use it?
Harriet described the house in detail, giving the general size of each of the rooms and the locations of windows and doors.
Are you a word wiz?

"Describe" has another meaning that is less common than the one we've given you. Which of the following do you think is another meaning of "describe"?

If we had described the root of the word "describe" you'd probably have guessed that the answer is A, "to trace the outline of," as in "She used a stick to describe a circle in the dirt." "Describe" comes from the Latin word "describere," from "scribere," meaning "to write." There are several other words in English that trace back to "scribere." One is "scribble," which means "to write or draw hastily or carelessly"; another is "postscript," which means "a note or series of notes added at the end of a letter, article, or book."
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