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
b : idea, concept
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
4a : reflect, mirror
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

Other Words from image


imager \ ˈi-​mi-​jər How to pronounce image (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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While the first image of a hammock that comes to mind may be a simple rope or fabric one, there are a number of different styles out there. Editors Of Men's Health, Men's Health, 16 May 2022 But the image of an unborn dolphin is a computer graphic. Dezimey Kum, USA TODAY, 15 May 2022 Bit by bit, the image of a man was taking shape in the study records, but what sort of man?, 14 May 2022 Included is a photo of the Carlisle student body and superintendent’s house, taken in about 1885 by John N. Choate, that has become the iconic image of the boarding-school era and of the modern demand for acknowledgment and accountability. Jeff Gammage, Anchorage Daily News, 13 May 2022 Astronomers captured the first image of the supermassive black hole at our galaxy’s center. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2022 Game cameras picked up the image of a bear returning to the den overnight and leaving with both cubs. al, 13 May 2022 In the 1980s, pitchers’ nightmares were filled with the image of Tim Raines, Vince Coleman or Henderson taking a long lead off first base. New York Times, 13 May 2022 With affiliates in Austria, France and the United Kingdom, the foundation is dedicated to enhancing the image of the sector as well as being a central source of educational information. Kate Hardcastle, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The company can image Ukraine daily, Mr. Greenley said, and the images can be ready to view in some cases in less than 15 minutes. Robert Wall, WSJ, 1 May 2022 What if industrial designers could see inside a bicycle or a running shoe with the same precision that doctors can image their patients’ internal organs? Katie Jennings, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 The team managed to get enough of those telescopes pointed at the repeating source to image five individual FRBs. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 24 Feb. 2022 Starship—and the SLS—could also launch a large telescope custom-built to image Earth-like exoplanets around other stars, as recommended to NASA by the National Academies’ Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey in November 2021. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, 12 Apr. 2022 Using a portable fundus camera to image the eye, or even a smartphone camera, an algorithm could identify the signs of problems like diabetic retinopathy early enough to intervene. Katie Palmer, STAT, 9 Apr. 2022 Venus is the target of several upcoming missions later this decade like VERITAS and DAVINCI that will image and sample the Venusian atmosphere and create a new higher-resolution map of the surface in infrared light. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 10 Feb. 2022 One still image from a police body worn camera shows his back turned away from police, holding the gun upward in his left hand. Lauren Hernández, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Mar. 2022 The primary difference between the Hubble and the JWST is the wavelength of light that they are designed to image. Don Lincoln, CNN, 24 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best gaming consoles.

Learn More About image

Time Traveler for image

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near image



image dissector

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for image

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Image.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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

More Definitions for image


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

More from Merriam-Webster on image

Nglish: Translation of image for Spanish Speakers

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!