im·​age | \ ˈi-mij How to pronounce image (audio) \

Definition of image

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a visual representation of something: such as
(1) : a likeness of an object produced on a photographic material
(2) : a picture produced on an electronic display (such as a television or computer screen)
b : the optical counterpart of an object produced by an optical device (such as a lens or mirror) or an electronic device
2a(1) : a mental picture or impression of something had a negative body image of herself
(2) : a mental conception held in common by members of a group and symbolic of a basic attitude and orientation a disorderly courtroom can seriously tarnish a community's image of justice— Herbert Brownell
3 : a popular conception (as of a person, institution, or nation) projected especially through the mass media promoting a corporate image of brotherly love and concern— R. C. Buck
4a : exact likeness : semblance God created man in his own image — Genesis 1:27 (Revised Standard Version)
b : a person strikingly like another person she is the image of her mother
5a : a tangible or visible representation : incarnation the image of filial devotion
b archaic : an illusory form : apparition
6 : a vivid or graphic representation or description
7 : a reproduction or imitation of the form of a person or thing especially : an imitation in solid form : statue
9 : a set of values given by a mathematical function (such as a homomorphism) that corresponds to a particular subset of the domain


imaged; imaging

Definition of image (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to create a representation of also : to form an image of imaged Jupiter's rings image the bone using X-rays
b : to represent symbolically
2 : to call up a mental picture of : imagine
3 : to describe or portray in language especially in a vivid manner
b : to make appear : project
5 : to make a disk image of Many computer forensics programs now include the option of imaging a suspect drive.— Yvonne Jewkes

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Other Words from image


imager \ ˈi-​mi-​jər How to pronounce imager (audio) \ noun

Examples of image in a Sentence

Noun She studied her image in the mirror. The kids sat staring at the images on the TV screen. painters capturing images of war black-and-white images of the city His poem evokes images of the sea and warm summer days. He is trying hard to improve his image. The law suit has negatively affected the company's public image. a politician who cares more about image than about telling the truth Verb in the painting Sacagawea is imaged as an intrepid woman pointing the way for Lewis and Clark the brochure images a vacation at the resort in language that makes you want to make a reservation this instant
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Cell phone data showed ZIP codes around Lake of the Ozarks had huge increases in foot traffic, as one would gather from images on social media. Matt Wynn, USA Today, "Remember Lake of the Ozarks party pics? Many other places boomed Memorial Day, data show," 30 May 2020 Then, images of police violence made those same disparities visceral. Anchorage Daily News, "Disease, hardship and outrage add up to a ‘tinderbox’," 30 May 2020 Every single one of us hated to witness a night like Thursday, much less see these images through our camera viewfinders. Michael Clevenger, The Courier-Journal, "Crowds dispersed, but we stayed. What Courier Journal photographers saw during the protests," 29 May 2020 Instead, the group’s disenchantment with the senator was almost exclusively image related. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "'They wanted to like her': Sen. Martha McSally in worse shape in Arizona than Trump," 29 May 2020 And amid the controversy and confusion over tests, masks, antibodies and vaccines, an unrelated image seizes the nation: the symbolism of a white cop kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed black man who is begging to breathe. John D'anna, azcentral, "As nation reels from pandemic, its struggle with racial inequity remains epidemic," 29 May 2020 Video images showing Floyd lying in the street, with a police officer's knee against his neck, sparked outrage across the nation. Fox News, "Minneapolis mayor calls for unity, denounces violent protests, looting," 29 May 2020 Too many cell phone images of white people and police officers treating black men like … prey. John Archibald |, al, "Why America needs more shocking videos," 28 May 2020 Now, scientists are using satellite images to determine how much algae is growing in Antarctica. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "In Summer, Antarctic Snow Turns Green with Algae," 22 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bennett relies on side-imaging sonar to scan the area while an angler fights a tarpon. Doug Olander, Field & Stream, "Never Lose Another Fish Fight Again," 21 May 2020 Very rarely is the source of a quake so directly imaged. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "Second-largest earthquake in modern South Korean history tied to geothermal plant," 26 Apr. 2018 Together, these three technological beasts have allowed scientists to understand and image Jupiter’s weather in more detail than ever before. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, "Jupiter has a spooky new look in this sharp infrared photo," 12 May 2020 And a letter published Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the number of patients in the United States undergoing imaging for stroke evaluation has decreased by 39% since before the pandemic. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "Coronavirus concerns keep heart patients from hospital: 'I was so scared'," 12 May 2020 Rabbit images appear throughout the bar’s exterior and interior; customers are playfully nicknamed conejitos (little rabbits). Eric Velasco, al, "Mayawell bar familiarizes Birmingham with agave spirits," 12 May 2020 Andrew Onwubolu) wields words and images the way his young characters use weapons and fists to taunt, cajole, provoke and hurt one another. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Rapman makes bold, startling feature film debut with London-set ‘Blue Story’," 5 May 2020 The search for the two had been carried out by multiple agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard and involved aviation and underwater imaging sonar technology. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Maryland police find body of missing Kennedy child after five-day search of Chesapeake Bay," 9 Apr. 2020 The team also used its technique to image an entire infant marmoset and a small human brain sample—something that could one day lead to new understandings of solid tumors and neurodegenerative diseases. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Mouse brains seen in unprecedented 3D detail, thanks to new staining technique," 1 May 2020

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for image


Middle English, "effigy, figure, mental impression of something observed, reflection, resemblance," borrowed from Anglo-French, shortened from imagene, borrowed from Latin imāgin-, imāgō "representation, reflection, apparition, semblance, copy, visible form," from imā- (probably the stem of an otherwise unattested verb *imārī with the same base as imitārī "to follow as a pattern, copy") + -gin-, -gō, denominal or deverbal noun suffix — more at imitate


Middle English imagen, in part derivative of image image entry 1, in part borrowed from Middle French ymagier "to imagine," derivative of image

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Learn More about image

Time Traveler for image

Time Traveler

The first known use of image was in the 13th century

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Statistics for image

Last Updated

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Image.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for image


How to pronounce image (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of image

: a picture that is produced by a camera, artist, mirror, etc.
: a mental picture : the thought of how something looks or might look
: the idea that people have about someone or something


im·​age | \ ˈi-mij How to pronounce image (audio) \

Kids Definition of image

1 : a picture or reflection of something produced by a device (as a mirror or lens) We watched the images on the screen.
2 : someone who looks very much like another She is the image of her mother.
3 : the thought of how something looks An image appeared in his head of his parents hugging each other and crying.— Louis Sachar, Holes
4 : a representation (as a picture or statue) of something
5 : an idea of what someone or something is like He has an image as a troublemaker.


im·​age | \ ˈim-ij How to pronounce image (audio) \

Medical Definition of image

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the optical counterpart of an object produced by an optical device (as a lens or mirror) or an electronic device — see real image, virtual image
b : a likeness of an object produced on a photographic material
2 : a mental picture or impression of something had a negative body image of herself : as
a(1) : a mental conception held in common by members of a group and symbolic of a basic attitude and orientation the compassionate small-town family doctor, an image that the AMA deeply admiresCurrent Biography
(2) : an idealized conception of a person and especially a parent that is formed by an infant or child, is retained in the unconscious, and influences behavior in later life the overwhelming influence of the mother image— John Messenger

called also imago

b : the memory of a perception in psychology that is modified by subsequent experience also : the representation of the source of a stimulus on a receptor mechanism


imaged; imaging

Medical Definition of image (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to call up a mental picture of : imagine
2 : to create a representation of also : to form an image of the liver was imaged the animals were anesthetized and imaged with a gamma camera — R. T. Proffitt et al

intransitive verb

: to form an image

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More from Merriam-Webster on image

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for image

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with image

Spanish Central: Translation of image

Nglish: Translation of image for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of image for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about image

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