1550s, "to mark out in lines," from Latin delineatus, past participle of delineare "to sketch out," from de- "completely" (see de-) + lineare "draw lines," from linea "line" (see line (n.)). From c. 1600 as "represent pictorially;" 1610s as "describe, represent to the mind or understanding, portray in words." Related: Delineated; delineator; delineating.
mid-13c., descriven, "interpret, explain," a sense now obsolete; c. 1300, "represent orally or by writing," from Old French descrivre, descrire (13c.) and directly from Latin describere "to write down, copy; sketch, represent," from de "down" (see de-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut").
From late 14c. as "form or trace by motion;" c. 1400 as "delineate or mark the form or figure of, outline." Reconstructed with Latin spelling from c. 1450. Related: Described, describes, describing.
early 14c., "to train or instruct in some specific subject," from Old French informer, enformer "instruct, teach" (13c.) and directly from Latin informare "to shape, give form to, delineate," figuratively "train, instruct, educate," from in- "into" (from PIE root *en "in") + formare "to form, shape," from forma "form" (see form (n.)). In early use also enform until c. 1600. Sense of "report facts or news, communicate information to" first recorded late 14c. Related: Informed; informing.
1610s, "an illustrative figure giving only the outlines or general scheme of the object;" 1640s in geometry, "a drawing for the purpose of demonstrating the properties of a figure;" from French diagramme, from Latin diagramma "a scale, a musical scale," from Greek diagramma "geometric figure, that which is marked out by lines," from diagraphein "mark out by lines, delineate," from dia "across, through" (see dia-) + graphein "write, mark, draw" (see -graphy). Related: Diagrammatic; diagrammatically.
The verb, "to draw or put in the form of a diagram," is by 1822, from the noun. Related: Diagrammed; diagramming.
late 14c., "follow (a course); draw a line, make an outline of something," also figurative; "ponder, investigate," from Old French tracier "look for, follow, pursue" (12c., Modern French tracer), from Vulgar Latin *tractiare "delineate, score, trace" (source also of Spanish trazar "to trace, devise, plan out," Italian tracciare "to follow by foot"), a frequentative form from Latin tractus "track, course," literally "a drawing out," from past participle stem of trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)).
Meaning "move along, pass over" (a path, etc.) is attested from c. 1400; that of "track down, follow the trail of" is early 15c. Meaning "copy a drawing on a transparent sheet laid over it" is recorded from 1762. Related: Traced; tracing.
also (and originally) kapnography, "the art of drawing by means of smoke" (or carbon deposited by a flame), 1871, from Greek kapnos "smoke" (see capnomancy) + -graphy. Related: Capnographic; kapnographic.
Kapnography—if we are called on to christen the new Art—may be said to be the very reverse of photography. In the one, the subtle play and reflexion of light is imprisoned by the magic chemistry of the sunbeam ; in the other the human imagination guides the hand to trace designs on the very type of change and emblem of destruction. To fix the faces seen in the fire, or to delineate the ever-changing forms of the clouds, does not seem to be a more unpromising task, than that of producing Alps and glaciers, forests and châlets, waterfalls and wood-hung streams, out of very vapour of combustion—the smoke of a candle. [The Art-Journal, vol. X, 1871]