bo·​keh | \ ˈbō-kā How to pronounce bokeh (audio) , -kə \

Definition of bokeh

: the blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field Good bokeh is smooth and pleasing, whereas bad bokeh produces a jagged and discordant effect. … The quality of bokeh is largely dependent on the construction of the lens. For this reason, lenses that provide high-quality bokeh are prized.— Harold Davis

Examples of bokeh in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There’s also a natural bokeh or blur effect on the background. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, 20 Oct. 2020 The main camera produces very fine details and has a natural depth-of-field bokeh effect, too. Ben Sin, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2021 Compare the bokeh in these two shots above, one from the 12 Pro Max and one from the 12 Pro. Popular Science, 10 Nov. 2020 With the latter, the 12 Pro Max was better at capturing hairlines and body lines for determining when to start the bokeh effect. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, 9 Nov. 2020 That includes green forests, blue seascapes, browns and grays in city shots, portraits, macro images, close-ups, images with strong bokeh, stacked images with long depth of field, and more. Scott Gilbertson, Wired, 19 Oct. 2020 This shot, as most shots on the Pixels, creates a bokeh effect as the focus singles in. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, 3 Aug. 2020 The Snapdragon 855 first introduced bokeh to video captured with the smartphone camera. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, 5 Dec. 2019 Better portrait mode A few years ago, phone makers like Apple, Samsung and Huawei introduced cameras that produced portrait mode, also known as the bokeh effect, which sharpened a subject in the foreground and blurred the background. Brian X. Chen, New York Times, 15 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bokeh.' 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 bokeh

1997, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bokeh

borrowed from Japanese boke "blur, haziness"

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Statistics for bokeh

Last Updated

21 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bokeh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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