bo·​keh ˈbō-kā How to pronounce bokeh (audio)
: 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 On the downside, the bokeh has a busy character, especially in scenes that incorporate fields of grass or clumps of small branches. PCMAG, 25 Apr. 2024 The bokeh, and pictures in general, are free of false color from chromatic aberration (CA). PCMAG, 16 Apr. 2024 This new main camera captures excellent dynamic range with strong bokeh, despite its relatively small 1/1.4-inch sensor size. Ben Sin, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 The company is sticking with the big image sensor strategy, which has certain advantages like better baseline noise performance and more natural bokeh. Allison Johnson, The Verge, 15 Dec. 2023 Portrait photographers are in for a treat, thanks to the OPPO Find N3’s Hasselblad Portrait Mode, which delivers that classic bokeh of an image shot on a Hasselblad. Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 All the Pumpkin Spice Snacks and Drinks Fast Food Spots are Serving This Fall The coffee company’s peppermint mocha coffee packaging is similar, featuring pink bokeh lights along with peppermint candies and chocolate topping swirls. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 24 Oct. 2023 Photographers will pay a lot of money for a lens with the right bokeh. IEEE Spectrum, 25 Oct. 2016 The larger sensor pulls in significantly more image information than other smartphone sensors, and also produces a shallow depth-of-field for natural bokeh. Ben Sin, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bokeh.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Japanese boke "blur, haziness"

First Known Use

1997, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bokeh was in 1997

Dictionary Entries Near bokeh

Cite this Entry

“Bokeh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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