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graph·​ic ˈgra-fik How to pronounce graphic (audio)
variants or less commonly graphical
: of or relating to the pictorial arts
also : pictorial
: of, relating to, or involving such reproductive methods as those of engraving, etching, lithography, photography, serigraphy, and woodcut
: of or relating to the art of printing see also graphic design
often graphical mathematics : relating or according to graphics (see graphic entry 2 sense 3b)
a graphical/graphic representation of a cube
often graphical : relating to or consisting of images or video displayed on the screen of a computer or other digital device
a graphical interface
Users can record a computer screen, import graphic elements, … and export … videos …
: formed by writing, drawing, or engraving
graphic inscriptions
usually graphic
: vividly or plainly shown or described
a graphic sex scene
: using offensive or obscene words : including swear words
… used graphic language on camera and then abruptly ended the impromptu press conference. The vulgarity made headlines.Michael Martinez
: marked by clear lifelike or vividly realistic description
… its most graphic and beautiful stanzas …John Livingston Lowes
usually graphical : of, relating to, or represented by a graph
: of or relating to the written or printed word or the symbols or devices used in writing or printing to represent sound or convey meaning
the graphic symbols of the ancient Egyptians
graphically adverb
graphicness noun


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plural graphics
: a product of graphic art
graphics plural : the graphic media
: a graphic representation (such as a picture, map, or graph) used especially for illustration
His presentation included a number of informational graphics.
: a pictorial image created by a computer for display on the screen of a digital device
The video game's graphics are impressive.
sometimes used before another noun
the laptop's graphics card
: a message, image, etc. superimposed on a video
Tabloid topics, sexy footage, … graphics, hold the analysis: television news plays like The International Enquirer staged by MTV.Richard Corliss
compare chyron
graphics plural in form but singular or plural in construction : the process whereby a computer displays graphics
graphics plural in form but singular or plural in construction : the art or science of drawing a representation of an object on a two-dimensional surface according to mathematical rules of projection


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adjective combining form

variants or -graphical
: written or transmitted in a (specified) way
Choose the Right Synonym for graphic

graphic, vivid, picturesque mean giving a clear visual impression in words.

graphic stresses the evoking of a clear lifelike picture.

a graphic account of combat

vivid suggests an impressing on the mind of the vigorous aliveness of something.

a vivid re-creation of an exciting event

picturesque suggests the presentation of a striking or effective picture composed of features notable for their distinctness and charm.

a picturesque account of his travels

Examples of graphic in a Sentence

Adjective the report offered many graphic details about the devastating earthquake that rocked the area got a degree in graphic design Noun She illustrated her talk with a graphic showing state population growth. the use of graphics in the text of the dictionary helps to break up the visual monotony of the page
Recent Examples on the Web
But, while Callas was synonymous with graphic eyeliner and a strong brow, James’s glam team—hairstylist Halley Brisker and makeup artist Valeria Ferreira—went for a cleaner, softer look for the Met’s green carpet. Hannah Coates, Vogue, 7 May 2024 The spot hosts graphic artists, author signings and food trucks, and partners with other local businesses to offer customers discounts. Natallie Rocha, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for graphic 

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

Word History


Adjective and Noun

Latin graphicus, from Greek graphikos, from graphein

Adjective combining form

Late Latin -graphicus, from Greek -graphikos, from graphikos

First Known Use


1660, in the meaning defined at sense 3c


1889, in the meaning defined at sense 3b

Time Traveler
The first known use of graphic was in 1660

Dictionary Entries Near graphic

Cite this Entry

“Graphic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
graph·​ic ˈgraf-ik How to pronounce graphic (audio)
variants also graphical
: of, relating to, or being arts such as painting, engraving, printing, or photography
: of, relating to, or represented by a graph
: clearly and impressively told or described
graphically adverb


2 of 2 noun
: a picture, map, or graph used for illustration
plural : a display (as of pictures or graphs) generated by a computer on a screen, printer, or plotter

More from Merriam-Webster on graphic

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