graph·ic | \ ˈgra-fik \
variants: or less commonly graphical \ˈgra-fi-kəl \

Definition of graphic 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : of or relating to the pictorial arts also : pictorial

b : of, relating to, or involving such reproductive methods as those of engraving, etching, lithography, photography, serigraphy, and woodcut

c : of or relating to the art of printing

d : relating or according to graphics

2 : formed by writing, drawing, or engraving graphic inscriptions

3 usually graphic

a : marked by clear lifelike or vividly realistic description

b : vividly or plainly shown or described a graphic sex scene

4 usually graphical : of, relating to, or represented by a graph

5 : 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



Definition of graphic (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a product of graphic art

b graphics plural : the graphic media

2a : a graphic representation (such as a picture, map, or graph) used especially for illustration His presentation included a number of informational graphics.

b : a pictorial image displayed on a computer screen the program's graphics are impressive

c 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

3 graphics plural in form but singular or plural in construction : the process whereby a computer displays graphics

4 : a printed message superimposed on a television picture

variants: or -graphical

Definition of -graphic (Entry 3 of 3)

: written or transmitted in a (specified) way stylographic telegraphic

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Other words from graphic


graphically \ˈgra-fi-k(ə-)lē \ adverb
graphicness \ˈgra-fik-nəs \ noun

Synonyms for graphic

Synonyms: Adjective

delineated, pictorial, picturesque, visual, vivid

Synonyms: Noun

diagram, figure, illustration, plate, visual

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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


the report offered many graphic details about the devastating earthquake that rocked the area got a degree in graphic design


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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

To really ramp up the styling, try an equally as graphic pair of black-and-white hoop earrings and break up the monochromatic vibe with a tiny, colorful bag. Lindsay Peoples, The Cut, "Hot Days Call for a White Dress and Sneakers," 13 July 2018 Prices range from $240 for the graphic tee, and top out at $590 for the sweatpants. Aubri Juhasz, The Cut, "Burberry’s Latest Collab Is Full of Cool Kids in Rainbow Check," 13 July 2018 Whether on the Atlantic or Pacific, Mediterranean or Baltic, opt for a white oxford or linen button-down rather than a graphic tee or tank top. Tucker Westbrook, Town & Country, "14 Style Lessons I Learned From JFK," 5 July 2018 On YouTube, the video of the 20-minute segment, which contains graphic language, was viewed more than 3.3 million times by Friday. NBC News, "China blocks John Oliver on social media after Xi Jinping report," 22 June 2018 White is the New Black.’ While the shirt may reference the popular Netflix series, Orange is the New Black, or hint at a new fashion trend; some customers were outraged at the racial undertones associated with the graphic tee. Carson Kessler, Fortune, "Melania Trump's Jacket Is Just the Controversial Clothing by Zara. Here's a Timeline of the Rest," 22 June 2018 Warning: The following music video contains graphic language. Jaclyn Reiss,, "Drake got the ‘Degrassi’ crew together for a reunion in his new music video, and millennials are freaking out," 14 June 2018 While the pair’s first collaboration of graphic tees took on the Jean Clemmer photographers and book titles, the second is more of a free association of ideas surrounding Dossena’s Spring collection theme. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "These Are Not Your Average Graphic Tees: Julien Dossena and Peter Saville Talk About Their New Paco Rabanne Collaboration," 23 May 2018 While Scott kept it casual in a black graphic tee and sneakers, the 20-year-old makeup maven rocked a moss green baggy jumpsuit, paired with bright purple lace-up pumps and athletic-inspired mirrored shades. Megan Decker, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott Made a Stylish Appearance in NYC Without Baby Stormi," 7 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The first drop, which arrives online tomorrow, features a Warhol-esque graphic of Brooke Shields’s silhouette from her iconic Calvin Klein Jeans campaign in 1980. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Calvin Klein Jeans Est. 1978 Is Raf Simons’s Latest Addition to the Brand—And Prices Start at Just $60," 13 July 2018 But the massive graphic of James with his arms outstretched across from the Quicken Loans arena will be taken down sometime this week, according to The Heat Index, azcentral, "LeBron James billboard in Cleveland to come down this week," 2 July 2018 The 360-degree visualizations, which can be seen on your computer, phone, tablet or using a virtual reality headset, are artists’ renderings—there are no photographic images of these planets, so the graphics are based on hypotheticals. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "NASA’s New Exoplanet Travel Bureau Lets You “Tour” Far-Distant Planets In 360 Degrees," 7 June 2018 The graphic has been updated to show Allstate Corp. in 11th place and Ecolab Inc. in 12th place. Lauren Weber, WSJ, "Banks Pay Out Some of the Biggest Settlements in Wage Disputes," 5 June 2018 The focus of the dress is the graphic open bateau neckline that gracefully frames the shoulders and emphasises the slender sculpted waist. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Is Wearing a Givenchy Dress at the Royal Wedding and It's Absolutely Stunning," 19 May 2018 All graphics were funneled through a unique frame storage system. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "‘We pulled off everyday miracles’: Inside the birth of the Weather Channel," 19 Apr. 2018 All four parts have 128MB of level 4 cache, all have a 28W power envelope, and all have their graphics branded as Iris Plus Graphics 655. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Intel bumps up mobile chips to 6 cores in expanded 8th-generation line-up," 3 Apr. 2018 The graphic is meant to suggest that the vegan lifestyle has been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Topshop Sells a Vegan Shirt That Includes a Non-Vegan Recipe," 7 Mar. 2018

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


1637, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1944, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for graphic


Latin graphicus, from Greek graphikos, from graphein


see graphic entry 1

Adjective combining form

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

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Statistics for graphic

Last Updated

25 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for graphic

The first known use of graphic was in 1637

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More Definitions for graphic



English Language Learners Definition of graphic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: shown or described in a very clear way

: relating to the artistic use of pictures, shapes, and words especially in books and magazines



English Language Learners Definition of graphic (Entry 2 of 2)

graphics : pictures or images on the screen of a computer, television, etc.

: a picture, drawing, or graph used as a decoration or to make something (such as magazine article) easier to understand


graph·ic | \ ˈgra-fik \

Kids Definition of graphic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being written, drawn, printed, or engraved A map is a graphic representation of an area's geography.

2 : described in very clear detail She gave a graphic account of an accident.

3 : of or relating to the pictorial arts or to printing



Kids Definition of graphic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a picture, map, or graph used for illustration

2 graphics plural : a pictorial image or series of images displayed on a computer screen

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Comments on graphic

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