outline Definition

  • 1a line or set of lines enclosing or indicating the shape of an object in a sketch or diagram
  • 2a general description or plan giving the essential features of something but not the detail
  • 3a summary of something

Using outline: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "outline" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The outline of the building was clearly visible against the sky.

  • Example

    She gave me an outline of the project.

  • Example

    The professor provided an outline of the lecture before beginning.

  • Example

    He wrote an outline for his essay before starting to write.

outline Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for outline

Antonyms for outline

Phrases with outline

  • in a general way without including all the details


    The plan was explained in outline by the manager.

  • to provide more detail or information about something that has been outlined


    The speaker filled in the outline with specific examples and data.

  • a drawing consisting of the outline of an object without shading or other details


    The art class focused on creating outline drawings of various objects.

Origins of outline

from out- 'completely' + line, on the pattern of Dutch 'omlijnen'


Summary: outline in Brief

The term 'outline' [ˈaʊtlaɪn] refers to a line or set of lines indicating the shape of an object or a general description of something. It can be used to describe a summary or plan of something, as in 'She gave me an outline of the project.' 'Outline' can also be used in phrases like 'in outline,' meaning in a general way without including all the details.

How do native speakers use this expression?