Meaning of “description” in the English Dictionary

"description" in British English

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descriptionnoun [ C or U ]

uk /dɪˈskrɪp.ʃən/ us /dɪˈskrɪp.ʃən/

B1 something that tells you what something or someone is like:

Write a description of your favourite beach.
She has given the police a very detailed/full description of the robber.
A girl answering (= matching) the description of the missing teenager was spotted in Glasgow.
Your paper contains too much description, and not enough discussion of the issues.
of every description

of all types:

Boats of every description were entering the harbour.
be beyond description also defy description

to be something that you cannot describe accurately because of its great size, quality, or level:

Her beauty is beyond description.
The mess in Bart's room defies description (= is very bad)!

More examples

  • A witness gave a detailed description of the man.
  • He gave a very vivid and often shocking description of his time in prison.
  • The book contains lyrical descriptions of the author's childhood.
  • Would you say that is an accurate description of the current situation?
  • A woman of your description was seen in the area on the night of the crime.

(Definition of “description” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"description" in American English

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descriptionnoun [ C/U ]

us /dɪˈskrɪp·ʃən/

literature a statement or a piece of writing that tells what something or someone is like:

[ C ] Your description of Della was hilarious.
[ U ] Boats of every description (= of all types) entered the harbor.
[ U ] The beauty of the Rockies is beyond description (= is impossible to describe).
descriptive
adjective us /dɪˈskrɪp·tɪv/

(Definition of “description” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)