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describe someone or something as something

to describe or portray a person or a thing as something or as being in some particular state. Would you describe her as a woman of average height? We described the building as a collection of contemporary architectural clichés.
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describe someone or something to someone

to characterize or portray a particular person or thing to someone. Will you describe her to me, please? Please describe yourself to me so I will know you.
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References in classic literature ?
I cannot tell you how much these two words have encouraged me," said Bell afterwards, in describing this interview to his parents.
In describing it to the officials of the Patent Office, he was obliged to call it "an improvement in telegraphy," when, in truth, it was nothing of the kind.
Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases.
I have used the word radium in describing this powder because in the light of recent discoveries on Earth I believe it to be a mixture of which radium is the base.
In London that night poor Henderson's telegram describing the gradual unscrewing of the shot was judged to be a canard, and his evening paper, after wiring for authentication from him and receiving no reply--the man was killed--decided not to print a special edition.
Another reason why I liked this book so much is that, though, in the case of other works (however clever they be), one may read them, yet remember not a word of them (for I am a man naturally dull of comprehension, and unable to read works of any great importance),--although, as I say, one may read such works, one reads such a book as YOURS as easily as though it had been written by oneself, and had taken possession of one's heart, and turned it inside out for inspection, and were describing it in detail as a matter of perfect simplicity.
And the poets indeed have been busy with it; for it is in effect the thing, which figured in that strange fiction of the ancient poets, which seemeth not to be without mystery; nay, and to have some approach to the state of a Christian; that Hercules, when he went to unbind Prometheus (by whom human nature is represented), sailed the length of the great ocean, in an earthen pot or pitcher; lively describing Christian resolution, that saileth in the frail bark of the flesh, through the waves of the world.
One had to pinch oneself to be sure that one was awake as one heard this sane and practical Professor in cold measured tones describing the monstrous three-eyed fish-lizards and the huge water-snakes which inhabit this enchanted sheet of water.
But the projectile was now describing in the shadow that incalculable course which no sight-mark would allow them to ascertain.
The fiery mountain must have been situated about the 45@ south latitude on the invisible part of the disc; but, to Barbicane's great displeasure, the curve which the projectile was describing was taking it far from the point indicated by the eruption.
With such a view, desire is no longer a true cause, but merely a short way of describing certain processes.
Methodology to accomplish this and related case studies describing actual learning environments in which information skills are taught are described in this issue.
Children in the early concrete stage typically respond with few words when asked questions, and children in the middle concrete stage often generously expand on the details of several components of the experience they are describing.
Literature is offered describing this custom applicator of specialty surface materials.
The proportion of Americans describing themselves as haves also has increased since 1988 - from 59 percent to 67 percent.