limn

Limn is a verb that means "to represent" or "portray." It is most often used to describe the act of drawing or painting a portrait, but it can also refer to describing or outlining a scene or event.

The verb limn evolved from the Latin lumināre, "to illuminate." The word referred originally to coloring (illuminating) manuscripts. The sense of "portray" or "depict" did not come into use until the late 16th century, but that meaning is close to the original, since someone who paints a portrait usually illuminates something about the subject's character. The word is less often used of written description, as in "Her reviews tended to limn the worst aspects of the performance, ignoring the best."

Definitions of limn
  1. verb
    make a portrait of
    synonyms: depict, portray
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    type of:
    interpret, represent
    create an image or likeness of
  2. verb
    trace the shape of
    synonyms: delineate, outline
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    types:
    lipstick
    form by tracing with lipstick
    contour
    form the contours of
    streamline
    contour economically or efficiently
    type of:
    draw
    represent by making a drawing of, as with a pencil, chalk, etc. on a surface
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