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describe - definition and synonyms

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verb [transitive]     describe pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participledescribing
past tensedescribed
past participledescribed
  1. 1
    to give details about what someone or something is like

    The email system is fully described in section 10.

    I don’t think that’s quite the word to describe my feelings.

    describe someone/something as something:

    The attacker is described as around 30, with dark hair and a beard.

    describe how/what/who:

    Could you describe how the trip ended?

    describe doing something:

    She described feeling so angry that she wanted to hit him.

    1. a.
      to say that someone or something is a particular type of person or thing
      describe someone/something as something:

      Was this the man she had once described as a hero?

      I wouldn’t describe her as a nice person.

  2. 2
    formal to make a shape

    The river describes an almost perfect arc across their land.



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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