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

Dozens of doctors responded with both graphic and intimate stories of gun violence in their operating rooms, each with the Twitter hashtag #ThisIsOurLane, as The Washington Post’s Frances Stead Sellers previously reported. Meagan Flynn, The Seattle Times, "Shot in the neck at 17, this is the trauma surgeon now leading doctors against gun violence and NRA," 14 Nov. 2018 But the social media star's graphic lids explored new territory, solidifying her winning status as the weekend's MVP red carpet beauty. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Debuts a Radical New Take on Red Carpet Eyeliner," 12 Nov. 2018 The brand's signature graphic T-shirt will also be only $20 for one day only. Glamour, "Black Friday Deals 2018: Everything We Know So Far," 12 Nov. 2018 Streetwear is oversize hoodies, tennis shoes and graphic T-shirts. WSJ, "Immigrants Are the Best Tenants," 4 Nov. 2018 While in New York City, the singer rocked a graphic t-shirt over her growing baby bump. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Here’s Proof That Carrie Underwood Is the Best-Dressed Pregnant Woman Ever," 7 Oct. 2018 Apple reportedly passed on a semi-biographical drama, which featured legendary hip-hop producer Dr. Dre, more than a year ago because of the graphic nature of the show. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Apple passes on Dr. Dre drama over graphic scenes, report says," 25 Sep. 2018 Ruth Root makes her own spandex with children’s pajama-like designs and wraps it around canvas, and Christina Quarles sneaks such colors and graphic-design elements into her otherwise dark scenes of body dysmorphia. Dan Duray, ELLE Decor, "Is Nostalgia in the Art World Ever a Good Thing?," 29 Aug. 2018 Opt for a two piece in a funky, graphic pattern or a corset dress with embroidery. Danielle Fox, Seventeen, "Is Your Prom Dress Style Classic or Trendy?," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Colors pop, graphics are sharp, and everything on-screen has ample saturation with good contrast (though not as wildly vibrant as Samsung’s). Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Razer Phone 2 review: it glows, but it doesn’t shine," 22 Oct. 2018 Facebook will add graphics around the reader’s face, and even face-distorting masks to make the story more compelling to kids on the other end of the call. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook is audaciously launching a video gadget for your home, called Portal. Is that a good idea?," 8 Oct. 2018 The collection as a whole is filled with looks in the same color palette, featuring bunny rabbit graphics, lace insets, satin textures, and embellished bags. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Selena Gomez x Coach Is Here: See the Collection," 14 Aug. 2018 Other upgrades include an awning, bike rack, exterior graphics, roof crossbars, bug screens, and a rear door bike work stand. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Pop-top camper van fits in your garage and sleeps a family," 12 July 2018 Check out the graphic of the USS Enterprise in all its glory by clicking the image below. Pm Editors, Popular Mechanics, "See the New USS Enterprise in Mind-Blowing Detail," 27 June 2016 See how crop marks form in these graphics from the Wales monuments commission. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Heat Wave is Revealing Centuries-Old Sites in Wales," 11 July 2018 In this initial case, Qualcomm accused Apple of infringing on three patents related to power management, graphics processing and radio voltage administration in iPhones. Mike Freeman,, "Testimony begins in Qualcomm's bid to ban imports of some iPhones," 18 June 2018 Here are a couple of classics: Stephen Beard is a video and graphics editor at IndyStar. Stephen J. Beard, Indianapolis Star, "How an Otamatone came to play 'Back Home Again'," 24 May 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

17 Nov 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

What made you want to look up graphic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


noxious or harmful

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