(as in, say,

Let me enumerate all the reasons red is my favorite colour, from most compelling to least:

  1. it is the colour of blood
  2. it works well with white
  3. it comes first in RGB

and that is about it.


And if so, is there a similarly-formed verb meaning 'to state all of the things in a category in an unordered list'?

My first thought was 'enlist', but obviously that already has a different meaning. Just 'list' comes close, but to me does not imply completeness.

  • 2
    It implies a list, but not necessarily a numbered one. You could easily have "Let me enumerate the reasons red is my favorite colour, from most compelling to least: it is the color of blood, it works well with white, and it comes first in RGB." It does work well with numbers, however.
    – Robusto
    Dec 31, 2016 at 4:49
  • 1
    So is the 'numer' root just incidental to the meaning, then? If this is the case, submit it as an answer and I will select it. Dec 31, 2016 at 4:56
  • 2
    Originally enumerate meant to count (Latin) but the meaning has broadened in English.
    – Robusto
    Dec 31, 2016 at 6:02

1 Answer 1


From Merriam Webster’s page on enumerate:

1:  to ascertain the number of: Count

2:  to specify one after another: List

Also from Merriam Webster’s page on enumerate

Despite its numer- root, you don't have to use numbers when enumerating.

Based on the information provided by the dictionary’s page on the word, I can only conclude that you can enumerate your reasons without using numbers or giving the impression that you’re relying on a numbered list.

I would urge you to take a look at the Merriam Webster’s page on the said word.

  • Thank you. Especially useful was the thesaurus section, which I ought to have consulted before posting because of course synonyms often have welcome variation: detail, itemize, list, numerate, recite, reel off, rehearse, tick (off) outline; tabulate, tally; catalog (or catalogue), inventory; chart, diagram, graph; calculate, compute, estimate, figure, reckon; cite, mention, name Dec 31, 2016 at 20:52

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