Meaning of DESCRIPTION in English

də̇ˈskripshən, dēˈ- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English descripcioun, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French description, from Latin description-, descriptio, from descriptus + -ion-, -io -ion

1. : the act or an instance of describing: as

a. : a describing or a representation produced by a describing of something material or immaterial

description of things is a mode of classification which in turn furnishes material for a more general classification — V.F.Lenzen

the meticulous descriptions of the rocks of each of the Paleozoic systems — American Journal of Science

reading a description of a murderer and looking at his picture both enable one to say “so that's what he's like” — J.M.Shorter

specifically : composition intended primarily to present to the mind or imagination graphically and in detail a unit of objective or subjective experience (as a scene, person, sensation, emotion) — used in textbooks in distinguishing a separate literary genre; compare exposition

it is the purpose of such descriptions that explains why their typical merits and demerits are what they are — namely: exactness, minuteness, accuracy, detail, fullness, sketchiness, misleadingness — S.E.Toulmin & K.Baier

b. : a statement of the properties of a thing or its relations to other things serving to identify it : a univocal designation of an object by means of a phrase beginning with the or a (as “the present king of the Belgians” or “a house next to my office”)

c. : a descriptive statement or account — often contrasted with analysis and valuation

d. : an individualizing or identifying designation (as a name, label, epithet)

the description “wax” is a misnomer since the substance is a fat — J.N.Goldsmith

2. obsolete

a. : inscription

b. : enrollment

3. : kind or character especially as determined by salient features

each state may still confer them upon an alien, or … upon any class or description of persons — R.B.Taney

opposed to any tax of so radical a description

4. obsolete : pictorial representation


a. : a tracing out of a geometrical figure

b. : a traversing of a course

the rocket's description of a high arching curve

6. : a specification of the boundaries of a piece of land with sufficient accuracy for legal purposes (as in preparing a deed of transfer)

Synonyms: see type

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.