• WordNet 3.6
    • adj descriptive describing the structure of a language "descriptive grammar"
    • adj descriptive serving to describe or inform or characterized by description "the descriptive variable","a descriptive passage"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Descriptive Tending to describe; having the quality of representing; containing description; as, a descriptive figure; a descriptive phrase; a descriptive narration; a story descriptive of the age.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • descriptive Containing description; serving or aiming to describe; having the quality of representing: as, a descriptive diagram; a descriptive narration.
    • descriptive Milit., a short military history of each enlisted man, with a description of his person, and an abstract of his account with the government.
    • descriptive in geometry, usually defined to be a property or proposition which can be stated without introducing the idea of magnitude. But it would be better to say that it is a property or proposition which relates to the incidence or coincidence of points, lines, and other geometrical elements, in general, or that it is one which does not depend upon the particular system of measurement adopted. Thus, the proposition that two triangles are equal if a side and two angles of the one are equal to the corresponding side and angles of the other, may be regarded as descriptive; while the proposition that through any point in space a single parallel to a given line can be drawn, is indisputably metrical, not descriptive.
    • descriptive In geometry: Pertaining to the projective methods of Monge.
    • descriptive Not containing the idea of quantity or measurement.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Descriptive containing description
    • ***


  • William Hazlitt
    “You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.”
  • Lord Byron
    “And yet a little tumult, now and then, is an agreeable quickener of sensation; such as a revolution, a battle, or an adventure of any lively description.”
  • D. H. Lawrence
    “Myth is an attempt to narrate a whole human experience, of which the purpose is too deep, going too deep in the blood and soul, for mental explanation or description.”
  • John B. S. Haldane
    John B. S. Haldane
    “In fact, words are well adapted for description and the arousing of emotion, but for many kinds of precise thought other symbols are much better.”
  • Lord Chesterfield
    “The world is a country which nobody ever yet knew by description; one must travel through it one's self to be acquainted with it.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. descriptivus,: cf. F. descriptif,


In literature:

Portions of this description of land are flowed for a longer or shorter period, when the rivers are full.
"A New Guide for Emigrants to the West" by J. M. Peck
The description which Le Baron de Grimm has given of Le Kain may be well applied to Talma.
"Travels in France during the years 1814-1815" by Archibald Alison
It opens with a description of the state of Scotland at the death of Alexander III.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3" by Various
This is not the place for a detailed description of Mount Rainier's twenty-eight glaciers.
"The Book of the National Parks" by Robert Sterling Yard
Indeed, the most graphic description that can be written will not tell half the tale.
"The Johnstown Horror" by James Herbert Walker
To attempt any description of my feelings on witnessing such scenes would be in vain.
"Lives of the Engineers The Locomotive. George and Robert Stephenson" by Samuel Smiles
Her grief must have been beyond all description.
"Commentary on Genesis, Vol. II" by Martin Luther
Of it we shall give a full description in its place.
"Museum of Antiquity" by L. W. Yaggy
But his love was of a most characteristic description.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
Enumerative description has one point of great difference from suggestive description.
"English: Composition and Literature" by W. F. (William Franklin) Webster

In poetry:

Happy beyond description he
Who knows, The Saviour died for me,
The gift unspeakable obtains,
And heavenly understanding gains.
"Hymn XIV: Happy the Man That Finds the Grace" by Charles Wesley
Though Thomson, sweet descriptive bard!
Inspiring Autumn sung;
Yet how should we the months regard,
That stopt his flowing tongue?
"Verses, To William Lyttleton, Esq." by William Shenstone
Oh, this self-realizing awareness
is beyond words and description!
The mind is not the world of children,
nor is it that of logicians.
"Response To A Logician" by Jetsun Milarepa
But yet, before they loaded up the vessel,
In fear of foreign treachery and hate,
They hurriedly translated into Russian
The sad descriptions of the soldiers' fate.
"The British Military Cemetery at Sebastopol" by Konstantin Simonov
Attune the lay that should adorn
Ilk verse descriptive o' the morn;
Whan round Forth's Links o' waving corn,
At peep o' dawn
Frae broomy know the whitening thorn
He raptur'd ran:
"The Links O' Forth : Or, A Parting Peep At The Carse O' Sterling" by Hector MacNeill
His owners and drivers stood round in amaze —
What! Neddy, the patient, the prosperous Neddy,
So easy to drive, through the dirtiest ways,
For every description of job-work so ready!
"The Donkey and His Panniers" by Thomas Moore

In news:

LOS ANGELES — Mention the word " exorcism " to most people, and you get descriptions of levitating bodies, spinning heads, oozing green bile and hissing serpentine tongues.
As such, I was subjected to the usual arsenal of fairy tales, cautionary stories, and misguided descriptions of the nature of good and evil.
Check out GQ magazine's most eyebrow -raising descriptions of ArtPrize and its founders.
Donated items for the auction will be accepted beginning at 1 pm, with the auction scheduled to begin at 6 pm Items of every description may be donated.
The victim said the suspect was 5-foot-9, wearing a dark tank top and jeans — a similar description to the fiend or fiends in other harrowing attacks, where the suspect is described as a short Hispanic man in his 20s.
Description The Figure Eight Hip Loosener exercise works your lower back, abs, hips, and legs.
Becker himself would not cop to such a description.
Short description of the blog.
Description Do more than crunches on a stability ball with these head to toe flab -fighting exercises.
Description Tips and techniques for flattening sharpening stones.
Description Learn which one-piece swimsuits are most slimming and flattering for your figure.
There's really not one category you can put Flogging Molly in because the band defies description — it's Irish goes punk by way of Los Angeles.
If his leading lady didn't fit that description when he cast her, he made sure to mold her in that image by the time the film came out.
TV Program Description Original PBS Broadcast Date: February 13, 2007.
The guide book has a chapter for each state park, with descriptions of the trails, how long they are and how difficult.

In science:

So far we have given a description of the REM based on the energy, that is a microcanonical description.
Simple models of protein folding and of non--conventional drug design
Using these two descriptions, we obtain a Galois cohomological description for the k -isomorphism classes of maximal tori in a split reductive k -group.
Arithmetic of algebraic groups
Hence, we deduce from the above description of the H-strata of Spec(U + ) (see Proposition 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4) the following description of the H-strata of Prim(U + ).
Primitive ideals and automorphism group of $U_q^+(B_2)$
The irreducibility in (i) follows from the description before Proposition 2.14, and for the remaining four cases it can be checked from the description of these symplectic triple systems in [Eld04].
New simple Lie superalgebras in characteristic 3
Of course the energy and information bookkeeping must be consistent with each other, but the dynamics of information is independent and equally necessary to describe the world, and the information description cannot be reduced to the energy description.
The Deep Physics Behind the Second Law: Information and Energy As Independent Forms of Bookkeeping