description


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beyond description

To a great degree. My poor car is wrecked beyond description. It just looks so awful.
See also: beyond, description

answer to the description (of)

To match a description of physical appearance. We had to release that suspect—he didn't answer to the description the witnesses gave us. She answers to the description of the missing girl.
See also: answer, description

beggar (all) description

To defy attempts at description; to be difficult or impossible to describe or explain. My mother loves decorating for Christmas, so during the holidays, her house is fit for Santa himself. It truly beggars description. My boss's incompetence is astounding. It truly beggars all description.
See also: beggar, description

a blow-by-blow account

A very thorough and detailed description of an event or occurrence. I'm so jealous that you get to go to the gala! I'll want a blow-by-blow account when you get home tonight! Don't bore people with a blow-by-blow account that chronicles every minute of your trip—just give them the highlights.
See also: account

play-by-play (description)

1. A very detailed, granular description and analysis of some sporting event or a portion thereof. And now we go to our senior sports analyst, Ty Johnson, for a play-by-play of tonight's game. Joining me for a play-by-play description of the first half is two-time Super Bowl champion Doug Douglas.
2. By extension, a very detailed, thorough depiction of some event as each moment unfolded in real time. I don't need a play-by-play of how the meeting went—just give me a quick rundown. I'm dying to hear about your date last night. Give me a play-by-play description!

answer to the description of someone

Fig. to match a particular set of physical or facial characteristics. Chuck answers to the description his sister gave us. The man in police custody answers to the description of the burglar.
See also: answer, description, of

beggar (all) description

to defy description; to be unable to be described. The house was a horrible mess. The place beggared description. Our reaction to the proposal beggars description. We were deeply disturbed for days.
See also: beggar, description

blow-by-blow account

 and blow-by-blow description
Fig. a detailed description (of an event) given as the event takes place. (This referred originally to reporting on boxing.) I want to listen to a blow-by-blow account of the prizefight. The lawyer got the witness to give a blow-by-blow description of the argument.
See also: account

play-by-play description

a description of an event given as the event is taking place. (Usually in reference to a sporting event.) And now here is Bill Jones with a play-by-play description of the baseball game. John was giving me a play-by-play description of the argument going on next door.
See also: description

beggar description

Defy or outdo any possible description, as in The stage set was so elaborate, it beggared description. This term, alluding to the idea that words are insufficient to do something justice, was already used by Shakespeare in Antony and Cleopatra (2:2), "For her own person It beggared all description."
See also: beggar, description

a blow-by-blow account

A blow-by-blow account of an event describes every stage of it in great detail. She wanted a blow-by-blow account of what happened.
See also: account

a blow-by-blow account

a detailed narrative of events as they happened.
See also: account

beggar beˈlief/deˈscription

be too strange and unusual to be believed/described: It beggars belief that no one knew she was stealing money for so long.The sight of him completely covered with mud and oil beggared description.

a ˌblow-by-ˌblow acˈcount, deˈscription, etc.

an account, a description, etc. in which all the details of an event are told in the order in which they happened: He gave us a blow-by-blow account of everything he had done that day.

beggar description, to

Impossible to describe accurately because mere words are not enough. The phrase is Shakespeare’s, who used it in referring to Cleopatra’s beauty: “For her own person, it beggar’d all description” (Antony and Cleopatra, 2.2). It not only entered the language but was, by the late eighteenth century (according to Eric Partridge), a cliché.
See also: beggar
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