Simple Definition of telegenic
: tending to look good or seem likable on television
Full Definition of telegenic
: well-suited to the medium of television; especially : having an appearance and manner that are markedly attractive to television viewers
Did You Know?
Telegenic, which first appeared in print in 1939, is essentially a compound formed out of "television" and "photogenic." "Photogenic" is also the word that caused the addition of a new sense to "-genic," namely "suitable for production or reproduction by a given medium" (as in the occasionally seen "videogenic": "The '80s were a time that created a lot of videogenic bands who weren't necessarily compelling live artists...." - Ron Shapiro, quoted in Entertainment Weekly, September 25, 1998). "Telegenic" may seem like a word that would primarily refer to people, but there is evidence for telegenic events (such as popular sports), objects, and responses. Occasionally, one even sees reference to a telegenic attitude or other intangible.
First Known Use of telegenic
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