To delineate something is to describe it in detail (or to literally draw an outline of it).
dih LIN ee ate
Part of speech:
(Like "eat," "try," and "want," all transitive verbs do something to an object.
You eat a banana, try a game, and want a new phone.
Likewise, you delineate something.)
delineated, delineating, delineation
How to use it:
To be literal, talk about delineating images and figures, meaning you're outlining or drawing them.
Figuratively, talk about delineating plans and procedures, policies and systems, differences, literary scenes and images, environments and experiences, etc.
It would take more than photos to delineate the beauty of our neighborhood in the spring. You just have to be here.
I enjoy poems more when they skillfully delineate images and scenes. I'm not impressed by vagueness.
study it now:
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "delineate" means when you can explain it without saying "draw the lines of" or "depict."
try it out:
Think of something you noticed that really needed to be more clearly explained, and fill in the blanks: "How/Why _____ wasn't clearly delineated."
Example: "How to handle planned absences from the day care wasn't clearly delineated."
before you review:
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
We're playing with clichés this month, examining the origins of some colorful ones. I’ll give you a cliché (some of which you might also call a proverb and/or an idiom) and pose a multiple-choice question about its origin. (I used this nifty book as a reference!)
Yesterday's question: Something “cut and dry” (or “cut and dried”) is prepared in advance, or is routine and maybe boring. Did we get this cliché from preparing clothing, herbs, or beef jerky?
Answer: From herbs! The cut-and-dried ones were distinct from the fresh, growing ones.
Try this one today: Quick story. As kids, my sisters and I were playing a card game called Skip-Bo, and one of my sisters dropped this on the rest of us, to our great amusement: “How now, brown cow?” It means “Okay, what now?” and of course is a cliché, but wow, it was the funniest thing ever when I first heard it. It originated in the 18th century. Did it originally mean “Shall we have another dance?”, “Shall we have another cigar?”, or “Shall we have another barrel of beer?”?
A Point Well Made:
W. Somerset Maugham: “The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.”
review today's word:
1. The opposite of DELINEATE is
2. New employees _____ well-delineated expectations.
A. appreciate B. prepare
Answers are below.
a final word:
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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