What does outline mean?

Definitions for outline

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word outline.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. outline, lineationnoun

    the line that appears to bound an object

  2. outline, synopsis, abstract, precisnoun

    a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory

  3. outline, schema, schemeverb

    a schematic or preliminary plan

  4. sketch, outline, adumbrateverb

    describe roughly or briefly or give the main points or summary of

    "sketch the outline of the book"; "outline his ideas"

  5. draft, outlineverb

    draw up an outline or sketch for something

    "draft a speech"

  6. delineate, limn, outlineverb

    trace the shape of


  1. outlinenoun

    A line marking the boundary of an object figure.

  2. outlinenoun

    The outer shape of an object or figure.

  3. outlinenoun

    A sketch or drawing in which objects are delineated in contours without shading.

  4. outlinenoun

    A general description of some subject.

  5. outlinenoun

    A statement summarizing the important points of a text.

  6. outlinenoun

    A preliminary plan of a project.

  7. outlinenoun

    A prose telling of a story intended to be turned into a screenplay; generally longer and more detailed than a treatment.

  8. outlineverb

    To draw an outline of something.

  9. outlineverb

    To summarize something.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Outlinenoun

    Contour; line by which any figure is defined; extremity.

    Etymology: out and line.

    Painters, by their outlines, colours, lights, and shadows, represent the same in their pictures. Dryden.


  1. outline

    An outline is a plan or a general overview that delineates the main points, details, or structure of a subject, document, project, or event. It often functions as a guide, assisting in organizing and systematizing ideas or tasks in a clearer and more coherent manner. Outlines are often utilized in writing, public speaking, project planning and other areas for better preparation and arrangement of information.


  1. Outline

    An outline, also called an hierarchical outline, is a list arranged to show hierarchical relationships and is a type of tree structure. It is used to present the main points or topics of a given subject, often used as a rough draft or summary of the content of a document. Writers of fiction and creative nonfiction, such as Jon Franklin, may use outlines to establish plot sequence, character development and dramatic flow of a story, sometimes in conjunction with free writing. Merriam-Webster's manual for writers and editors recommends that the section headings of an article should, when read in isolation, combine to form an outline of the article content. Garson distinguishes a 'standard outline', presented as a regular table of contents from a refined tree-like 'hierarchical outline', stating that "such an outline might be appropriate, for instance, when the purpose is taxonomic. ... hierarchical outlines are rare in quantitative writing, and the researcher is well advised to stick to the standard outline unless there are compelling reasons not to."

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Outline

    owt′līn, n. the outer line: the lines by which any figure is bounded: a sketch showing only the main lines: a draft: a set-line in fishing.—v.t. to draw the exterior line of: to delineate or sketch.—adj. Outlin′ear, like an outline.


  1. Outline

    Outline builds public policy simulators for city and state governments.Formerly Politify

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. outline

    Is the succession of lines that show the figure of the works, and indicate the direction in which the defensive masses are laid out, in order to obtain a proper defense.

  2. outline

    Is the succession of lines that show the figure of the works, and indicate the direction in which the defensive masses are laid out, in order to obtain a proper defense.

Editors Contribution

  1. outline

    A concise description using words.

    The member of government did outline the governmental strategy for local housing.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 10, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. outline

    Song lyrics by outline -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by outline on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'outline' in Nouns Frequency: #1856

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'outline' in Verbs Frequency: #586

Anagrams for outline »

  1. elution

  2. lineout

  3. line-out

How to pronounce outline?

How to say outline in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of outline in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of outline in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of outline in a Sentence

  1. Red Star:

    Red Star’s top officials met with security services at state and city level to outline measures required to make the match with Galatasaray an incident-free event.

  2. Dave Wilson:

    I think Mike Pence has to clearly demonstrate his own unique leadership style, and differentiate himself not only from Trump and the Trump administration, but outline the role he played in setting the public policies in the Trump administration, mike Pence spearheaded a lot of the conservative policy directions of the Trump-Pence administration, and he needs to let people know about that.

  3. Kristen Nordlund:

    At this time, we are working quickly with our partners to operationalize a plan which will outline where these travelers will be routed and what the screening process will be.

  4. Adam Twidell:

    The runway appears, framed in the island's rugged outline as you approach. Depending on wind conditions, pilots can land on both ends of the 400-meter strip. It's like landing on an aircraft carrier, with a deep drop-off into the sea.

  5. Guy Liany:

    We map all the geographical elements, the paths, the plots, interest points, everything that depicts the outline of the cemetery.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for outline

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • الخطوط العريArabic
  • obrysCzech
  • Umriss, KonturGerman
  • resumir, contorno, esbozo, delinearSpanish
  • suuntaviivat, yhteenveto, vetää yhteen, hahmotelma, juoni, ääriviiva, hahmotella, yleiskuvausFinnish
  • synopsis, résumé, esquisse, contour, aperçu, ébauche, silhouette, entourerFrench
  • תוואי, מתאר, קו מתאר, תמציתHebrew
  • रूपरेखाHindi
  • vázlat, körvonal, körvonalazHungarian
  • contornoItalian
  • 中抜き, 要旨, 主旨, 粗筋, 輪郭描写, 概略, 荒筋, 輪郭, 概要, あらまし, 外形Japanese
  • huaMāori
  • omtrekDutch
  • resumo, contornoPortuguese
  • очертить, контур, описать, набросок, очертание, очерчивать, описыватьRussian
  • kontur, kantlinjeSwedish
  • taslakTurkish

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"outline." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 26 Feb. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/outline>.

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