10 February 2009


I like limn because its root is "light." To "illuminate" a manuscript -- I've always loved that phrase. How perfect. To shine light on written words with pictures and decoration. Illustrated works can be so very beautiful.

The painting above is from Wikimedia Commons. Its title is Heures de Maréchal de Boucicaut (Stundenbuch), Szene: Dame während der Messe, by Meister des Maréchal de Boucicaut. It is in the public domain.

Limn Limn (l[i^]m), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Limned (l[i^]md); p.
pr. & vb. n. Limning (l[i^]m"n[i^]ng or l[i^]m"[i^]ng).]
[OE. limnen, fr. luminen, for enluminen, F. enluminer to
illuminate, to limn, LL. illuminare to paint. [root]122. See
Illuminate, Luminous.]
1. To draw or paint; especially, to represent in an artistic
way with pencil or brush.
[1913 Webster]

Let a painter carelessly limn out a million of
faces, and you shall find them all different. --Sir
T. Browne.
[1913 Webster]

2. Hence: To picture in words; to describe in graphic terms.

3. To illumine, as books or parchments, with ornamental
figures, letters, or borders.
[1913 Webster]

-- From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48

v 1: trace the shape of [syn: delineate, outline]
2: make a portrait of; "Goya wanted to portray his mistress,
the Duchess of Alba" [syn: portray, depict]

-- From WordNet (r) 2.0

60 Moby Thesaurus words for "limn":
bring to life, cartoon, catch a likeness, chalk, character,
characterize, charcoal, chart, color, contour, copy, crayon,
crosshatch, dash off, daub, delineate, depict, describe, design,
diagram, doodle, draft, draw, evoke, express, give words to, hatch,
hit off, image, interpret, map, notate, outline, paint,
paint a picture, pencil, picture, picturize, portray, print,
profile, register, render, represent, rub, schematize, scratch,
scumble, set forth, shade, silhouette, sketch, stencil, symbolize,
take a rubbing, tint, trace, trace out, trace over, write

-- From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0

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