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 Portrait mode that improves the bokeh effect by adding artificial blur to the foreground as well as the background. Paul Monckton, Forbes, 10 June 2022 At ƒ/2, the lens also creates a beautiful, consistent bokeh effect. Jakob Schiller, Outside Online, 5 May 2021 While the Duo 2 uses its depth sensor to synthesise a fake 'bokeh', focussed on me and with the wood (only 0.6m) behind me completely out of focus. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 29 Oct. 2021 And because of the all-powerful 5nm Apple silicon, the digital bokeh and focus points can be adjusted after the fact. Ben Sin, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 Shooting a 360-degree view of the landscape, or getting the shallow depth of field bokeh effect, all without a big fancy camera, are good examples of what computational photography can do. Eric Griffith, PCMAG, 18 Jan. 2022 Over the past year, Apple has stepped up its computational photography game; its sensors perform better in low light, color accuracy is incredible, and features like bokeh and auto-enhancements are much improved. Steven Winkelman, PCMAG, 14 Jan. 2022 Roxanne’s whimsical radiance with the cinematographer turning to long lenses, flares and a blooming bokeh blur to illuminate the transcendent feeling of being swept off her feet. Daron James, Los Angeles Times, 15 Dec. 2021 The big upgrade this year, at least for me, is Cinematic mode, which adds semi-convincing bokeh (the blurred background effect) to videos. Ben Sin, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of bokeh

1997, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bokeh

borrowed from Japanese boke "blur, haziness"

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best digital cameras.

Learn More About bokeh

Dictionary Entries Near bokeh




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bokeh

Last Updated

14 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bokeh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!