I. noun Date: 1662 1. a. a line that marks the outer limits of an object or figure ; boundary b. shape 2. a. a style of drawing in which contours are marked without shading b. a sketch in outline 3. a. a condensed treatment of a particular subject <
an outline of world history
b. a summary of a written work ; synopsis 4. a preliminary account of a project ; plan 5. a fishing line set out overnight Synonyms: outline, contour, profile, silhouette mean the line that bounds and gives form to something. outline applies to a line marking the outer limits or edges of a body or mass <
traced the outline of his hand
. contour stresses the quality of an outline or a bounding surface as being smooth, jagged, curving, or sharply angled <
a car with flowing contours
. profile suggests a varied and sharply defined outline against a lighter background <
a portrait of her face in profile
. silhouette suggests a shape especially of a head or figure with all detail blacked out in shadow leaving only the outline clearly defined <
photograph in silhouette against a bright sky
. II. transitive verb Date: circa 1790 1. to draw the outline of 2. to indicate the principal features or different parts of <
outlined their responsibilities

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • outline — Ⅰ. outline UK US /ˈaʊtlaɪn/ verb [T] ► to describe something, for example a new plan or idea, in a general way without giving too many details: »The government has outlined a series of environmental goals it is seeking to meet by 2020. (be)… …   Financial and business terms

  • outline# — outline n 1 Outline, contour, proñle, skyline, silhouette mean the boundary lines which give form or shape to a body, a mass, or a figure. Outline refers to a line which marks or seems to mark the outer edge or limits of a thing {at night, the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • outline — [out′līn΄] n. 1. a line bounding the limits of an object, showing its shape; contour line 2. a sketch showing only the contours of an object without use of shading 3. [also pl.] a general plan without detail 4. a summary of a subject, consisting… …   English World dictionary

  • Outline — Out line , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Outlined}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Outlining}.] 1. To draw the outline of. [1913 Webster] 2. Fig.: To sketch out or indicate as by an outline; to create a general framework of (a plan, system, discourse, course of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Outline — Out line , n. 1. (a) The line which marks the outer limits of an object or figure; the exterior line or edge; contour. (b) In art: A line drawn by pencil, pen, graver, or the like, by which the boundary of a figure is indicated. (c) A sketch… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • outline — I (boundary) noun ambit, border, bounds, bourn, brink, circuit, circumference, circumscription, compass, confine, contour, demarcation, edge, edging, external form, extrema lineamenta, extremity, frame, fringes, frontier, limitations, limits,… …   Law dictionary

  • outline — [n1] plan, sketch bare facts*, blueprint, diagram, draft, drawing, floor plan, frame, framework, ground plan, layout, main features, recapitulation, résumé, rough draft, rough idea, rundown, skeleton, summary, synopsis, thumbnail sketch*,… …   New thesaurus

  • Outline —   [dt. Umriss], Schriftattribut …   Universal-Lexikon

  • outline — ► NOUN 1) a line or lines enclosing or indicating the shape of an object in a sketch or diagram. 2) the contours or outer edges of an object. 3) a general plan showing essential features but no detail. ► VERB 1) draw or define the outer edge or… …   English terms dictionary

  • outline — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun 1 line that shows the shape/outside edge of sb/sth ADJECTIVE ▪ clear, sharp ▪ The sharp outline of the island had become blurred. ▪ dim, faint, vague …   Collocations dictionary

  • outline — out|line1 [ˈautlaın] n 1.) [U and C] the main ideas or facts about something, without the details ▪ a research proposal outline outline of ▪ an outline of world history broad/rough/general outline ▪ a broad outline of the committee s plans in… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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