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1. A small picture that presents a smaller version of a larger image or proposed image. Before fully redesigning the layout of the office, the interior designer provided me with a thumbnail sketch of his initial plans.
2. A short description or preview. Class, each of you will need to submit a thumbnail sketch of your essay topic for my approval.
1. To make a quick, rough drawing of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sketch" and "out" or after the phrase. He quickly sketched the new design out for the clients to see. I sketched out a map of the area so my mother wouldn't get lost.
2. To present or write a brief, hasty plan or account of something. (A noun is often used after "sketch" or "out.") She sketched out her plans for new methods of monetization in front of the board of directors. You should always sketch your ideas out on paper before you begin researching anything.
3. slang To make someone feel uneasy or uncomfortable; to creep someone out. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is commonly used between "sketch" and "out." I'm OK with most bugs, but centipedes just sketch me out. That guy in the corner was really sketching us out, so we decided to leave. Try not to sketch out all the freshmen, Wayne.
1. To make a quick, rough drawing of something, especially as a detail or element of a larger work. A noun can be used between "sketch" and "in." They asked me to sketch in a few people to make the painting of the park feel more real. She sketched some popular tourist locations in on my map.
2. To present or write smaller details or aspects of a larger thing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sketch" and "in." We really liked your proposal, but we were hoping you could sketch in a few more specifics before we sign off on it.
sketch something in
to draw in the image of someone or something. I sketched a figure of a woman in so that she appears to be standing beneath the tree. I'll sketch in the house in the upper left corner.
sketch something out
to create a rough idea or image of something by sketching or some other means. (Does not necessarily require an actual sketch.) Sally sketched the furniture arrangement out so we could get an idea of what it was to look like. Would you sketch out your ideas, please?
a thumbnail sketch
a brief or small picture or description. The manager gave a thumbnail sketch of her plans. The student wrote a thumbnail sketch of his project.
A brief outline or cursory description, as in Let me give you a thumbnail sketch of the situation. This idiom alludes to drawing a picture no larger than a thumbnail. [Mid-1800s]
1. To add a hasty or undetailed drawing or painting of something to a larger work: The artist sketched in the leaves before painting. We finished sketching the margins in.
2. To give a general account or presentation of some aspect of a larger idea: The staff sketched in the details of the proposal. We sat down and sketched the fine points in.
1. To make a hasty or undetailed drawing or painting of something, often as a preliminary study: The architect sketched out a couple of ideas on a napkin. I sketched the figure out with pencil before I started painting.
2. To give a brief general account or presentation of something; outline something: The president sketched out her plan for the following year. Before I started writing my paper, I sat down and sketched my ideas out.
3. Slang To cause someone to experience an odd, unusual, and sometimes uneasy sensation: Their strange customs sketched out the visitors. His creepy smile sketched us out.
n. a quick and concise description. (One that could be written on someone’s thumbnail.) Let me give you a thumbnail sketch of what happened.