Broad Strokes Meaning
(idiomatic, especially of a narrative or artistic work) Developments, movements, or descriptions presented in a bold or sweeping manner, without intricacy, adornment, or subtlety.
Example: 1989 July 7, Serge Schmemann, "Vienna Talks: Complex Array of Arms Issues Plus an East of Many Voices," New York Times (retrieved 18 Oct 2011):
The President made his proposals in broad strokes, and the details remain to be worked out.
2002, Howard Blum, Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob, ISBN 9780671900151, p. 12:
His plan, in broad strokes, was to outfit a small fleet of cars with a number of miniature directional microphones.
2009 March 13, Jay Newton-Small, "Bipartisan Senate Group Makes Health-Care Progress," Time:
A bipartisan group of nine U.S. Senators, after meeting for nine months behind closed doors, is nearing an agreement on the broad strokes of a health-care-reform bill.
1914, Booth Tarkington, Penrod, ch. 14:
Maurice hastily climbed the fence, and while he was thus occupied Mr. Samuel Williams received a great enlightenment. With startling rapidity Penrod, standing just outside the storeroom door, extended his arm within the room, deposited the licorice water upon the counter of the drug store, seized in its stead the bottle of smallpox medicine, and extended it cordially toward the advancing Maurice.
Genius is like thatâ€”great, simple, broad strokes!
2000 Dec. 1, Julie Salamon, "Television Review: On a New Limb With Shirley MacLaine," New York Times (retrieved 18 Oct 2011):
While the movie unfolds in broad strokes, Ms. MacLaine treats this character with exquisite sensitivity and without condescension.
2010, James V. Smith, You Can Write a Novel (2nd ed.), ISBN 9781582979618, p. 55:
So sketch with broad strokes, dial up the imagery on a few main points, and leave room for a reader to play a part in your novel.