im·age | \ˈi-mij \

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

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Other Words from image


imager \ˈi-mi-jər \ noun

Examples of image in a Sentence


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


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

The singer then posted an image of the proposal on Instagram—and her face pretty much sums up the entire thing. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Taylor Swift Had the Best Reaction When Two Super-Fans Got Engaged Right in Front of Her," 14 July 2018 Lingerie brand Aerie quietly released a new images on their website this week that features women with a range disabilities and illnesses modeling various styles. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "Aerie Is Featuring Models With Disabilities and Illnesses," 11 July 2018 The Democratic Party seemed to be so unhinged over Trump’s decision to nominate Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court that its official Twitter account sent out a link with a sinister image on Tuesday. Brian Flood, Fox News, "The Democrats try to mock Kavanaugh with 'scary' image of the wrong judge," 10 July 2018 As a photojournalist, however, even that helps in creating a few interesting images. Scott Utterback, The Courier-Journal, "From great performances to the weird, Forecastle is a photographer's delight," 10 July 2018 The new palette will be called the Norvina palette and though it won't be released until later in July, Anastasia Beverly Hills has already released a few images of it online. Rosemary Donahue, Allure, "Everything We Know About Anastasia Beverly Hills’ New Norvina Eye Shadow Palette," 8 July 2018 Distributing such images for the purpose of profit is punishable by up to seven years in prison or a 30 million won ($27,000) fine. Washington Post, "South Korean women protest against ‘spy cam porn’," 8 July 2018 Projecting a bipartisan image is also O’Rourke’s best path to victory. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, "For O’Rourke, bipartisanship pays," 6 July 2018 Just press your finger over the right area of the screen — indicated by a thumbprint image — and the phone unlocks. Geoffrey Fowler,, "Future Phones: They Fold Like Napkins, Have 9 Cameras, Charge Over Thin Air," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The researchers aimed at the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex because dozens of small neuro-imaging studies have reported that in people deemed antisocial or aggressive or both, this region is typically smaller and less active than in other people. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Can zapping people’s brains reduce violence? Controversial study sees potential," 2 July 2018 But recently the Butlers and their company MARS Bioimaging tested the full size version of the scanner on Phil, who allowed his ankle and wrist, including his wristwatch, to be imaged. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Check Out These Awesome New 3D, Full-Color X-Rays," 13 July 2018 The Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE), a joint CAS and European Space Agency mission, will pioneer a new technique for imaging Earth's magnetosphere. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "New China space missions will watch for colliding black holes, solar blasts," 11 July 2018 And, needless to say the whole imaged fit the theme perfectly. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Wears Red Latex in the New Kylie Cosmetics Ad," 10 July 2018 Core needle biopsy: This is usually used to assess a lump that your doctor can see via imaging tests or feel during a breast exam, the Mayo Clinic says. Korin Miller, SELF, "8 Helpful Things to Know About Getting a Breast Biopsy Before It Happens," 27 June 2018 Our tele-ophthalmology mobile unit equipped with state-of-the art imaging devices, the nation’s first, travels to New York City’s underserved neighborhoods. Steven J. Corwin, Recode, "Let’s make telemedicine available to all," 25 June 2018 Earlier this year, on one Electron, Rocket Lab launched birds from Earth-imaging company Planet and ship-tracking and weather-data company Spire. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "It's Business Time for Rocket Lab, Launcher of Small Satellites," 22 June 2018 American high school students in California built a CubeSat to image Venus, stars, and other celestial objects and determine the distances to stars. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Rocket Lab to Attempt "It's Business Time" Launch Tonight," 22 June 2018

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

Dictionary Entries near image





image dissector

image orthicon


Phrases Related to image

public image

Statistics for image

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for image

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

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More Definitions for image



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 \

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 \

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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Comments on image

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