Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

outline - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] outline pronunciation in British English /ˈaʊtlaɪn/
Word Forms

Related words

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    an explanation that includes the general points about something, but not the details
    We hope this leaflet will provide a basic outline.
    a broad/general/rough outline
    outline of: The chairman gave them a brief outline of the museum’s history.
    1. a.
      a list that shows the main ideas and the structure of something that you are planning to write
      Please hand in an outline for your next essay by Tuesday.
      Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    a line that shows the outer edge or shape of something
    outline of: Through the mist we could see the faint outline of the island.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


a stupid person

Open Dictionary


an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog