Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: de·lin·e·ate
Pronunciation: /dəˈlinēˌāt

Definition of delineate in English:


[with object]
1Describe or portray (something) precisely: the law should delineate and prohibit behavior that is socially abhorrent
More example sentences
  • He describes the sociological evidence delineating the impact of fatherlessness upon children.
  • The Hindu religious texts describe varna ashrama dharma, the religious/social law delineating duties of four castes.
  • It is precisely this awareness that delineates a separation between spectator and performer as insider/outsider.
describe, set forth/out, present, outline, sketch, depict, represent;
map out, define, specify, identify
1.1Indicate the exact position of (a border or boundary).
Example sentences
  • The blue outline delineates the border of the Greenland ice sheet.
  • Because the two institutions stand apart, they can decide whether to recognize the legitimacy of the other but they cannot delineate each others boundaries.
  • This could be a fault that delineates the present-day eastern boundary of the West Siberian Basin.
outline, trace, block in, mark (out/off), delimit


mid 16th century (in the sense 'trace the outline of something'): from Latin delineat- 'outlined', from the verb delineare, from de- 'out, completely' + lineare (from linea 'line').



Pronunciation: /-ˌātər/
Example sentences
  • The chief delineator, though, is the number of coffee purchases required before getting the freebie.
  • The addition of these features would make the books more useful to wetland delineators.
  • Worth bearing in mind also that without a more strict delineator than ‘mainstream’, it's very difficult to talk accurately about the conception of divinity in the ‘Christian church’.

Definition of delineate in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?