• Depict or describe in painting or words.
  • Suffuse or highlight (something) with a bright color or light.

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Example Sentences

“The sunset limned her profile in a golden glow that didn’t disappear until the sun was gone.”

“Her skill as a writer is in limning difficult emotions with clear, concise sentences.”

“After class, Terese made sure to limn each important topic with a bright yellow highlighter.”

Word Origin

Late Middle English, mid-15th century

Why this word?

This word developed in the sense of “to illuminate a manuscript” in Middle English, from the French word “luminer” and the Latin word “luminare” — both of which mean “illuminate” or “to shine.” Illuminated manuscripts are handwritten books that include text supplemented with intricate borders and shimmering, richly colored illustrations. Before the printing press was developed, monks and other scholars would carefully limn pages with decorative flourishes that either complemented or explained the text they surrounded.

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Learn a new word Felix culpa

ˌfēliks ˈkəlpə