af·​ter·​im·​age | \ ˈaf-tər-ˌi-mij How to pronounce afterimage (audio) \
plural afterimages

Definition of afterimage

1 : a usually visual sensation occurring after stimulation by its external cause has ceased
2 : a lasting memory or mental image of something The problem with the heros of myths is that, although they were once a reality or rooted in one, they rarely matched their lovely afterimage.— Irvin Faust

Examples of afterimage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The light leaves an afterimage like one caused by staring at the sun. Adam Rogers, Wired, "How Pixar Uses Hyper-Colors to Hack Your Brain," 29 Apr. 2021 Some tennis players leave an afterimage in the mind. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "Félix Auger-Aliassime Is Trying to Stay Calm," 24 Aug. 2019 American culture is full of lingering afterimages of Midwestern guys making cars and mining coal, but, to quote an excellent headline from the Chicago Tribune, The Entire Coal Industry Employs Fewer People Than Arby’s. Emily Guendelsberger, Vox, "I was a fast-food worker. Let me tell you about burnout.," 15 July 2019 Now the cigarette’s white smoke morphs into one more aspect of the film — the addition of still or moving black-and-white afterimages. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Review: ‘Frame by Frame,’ a Ballet That Puts a Filmmaker Center Stage," 3 June 2018 But by foregrounding these embarrassments, Ms. Saul creates a kind of afterimage of spiritual serenity. Holland Cotter, Roberta Smith, Will Heinrich And Jason Farago, New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 11 Oct. 2017 According to BuzzFeed, signs of retinal damage include vision disturbances like not being able to see colors as well, afterimages, and, in serious cases, blind spots. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "How to Tell If You Burned Your Eyes From Looking at the Solar Eclipse," 22 Aug. 2017 In the new series, the images resemble otherworldly life forms displaying curled, fanned or branching structures and surrounded by ghostly afterimages. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "These Haunting Photographs Call Attention to Plastic Trash Swirling in the Ocean," 10 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'afterimage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of afterimage

1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for afterimage

after- + image entry 1

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Time Traveler for afterimage

Time Traveler

The first known use of afterimage was in 1840

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Statistics for afterimage

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Afterimage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for afterimage


af·​ter·​im·​age | \ -ˌrim-ij How to pronounce afterimage (audio) \

Medical Definition of afterimage

: a usually visual sensation occurring after stimulation by its external cause has ceased

called also aftersensation, aftervision

More from Merriam-Webster on afterimage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for afterimage Encyclopedia article about afterimage

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