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 original Michelangelo fresco from the 1500's can be seen on the dome at the Sistene Chapel, but Grande puts a new spin on the iconic image, cropping herself in as God. Connor Whittum, Billboard, "Ariana Grande's Epic 'God Is a Woman' Video, Decoded," 13 July 2018 The gaze captured by the Deborah Oropallo painting, which layers contemporary images over classical ones, might strike kids as that of a watchful nanny but seem more coy to adult eyes. Tim Gavan, WSJ, "Five Stairways Go From Dull to Dramatic," 13 July 2018 Expecting something more celebratory, Luce was shocked by the final work, which depicts the young woman in mid-fall from the window of her Central Park South apartment building — and also, in the same image, dead and bleeding on the pavement. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "How the Phoenix Art Museum acquired Frida Kahlo’s 'Suicide' painting," 13 July 2018 But the Owls’ clip stood out from the rest, thanks to the juxtaposition of the galvanizing images and the accompanying music. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "College football season is 50 days away, and Lane Kiffin and FAU are already winning," 13 July 2018 Over the years, the paper amassed an archive of 25,000 images, recently digitized by the Chicano Studies Research Center. Carolina A. Miranda,, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018 Spurs doctors in San Antonio saw the images and — out of an abundance of caution — recommended further testing for a possible fracture. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Metu’s misfortune means missed opportunity for Spurs’ second-rounder," 12 July 2018 The image of the gray-haired family physician, stethoscope in ear, patiently listening to the heartbeat of a porcelain doll as his young patient looks on, is indelible in the public memory. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Why Hasn’t Telemedicine Taken Off? Hey, Blame This Guy.," 3 July 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The founders of Planet [a developer of small, Earth-imaging satellites] were all working together at NASA. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "This VC Always Asks Three Questions Before Investing in a Moonshot Project," 20 June 2018 Experts based their analysis on regional and global seismic recordings, as well as before-and-after radar measurements of the mountain’s surface by Germany's TerraSAR-X and Japan's ALOS-2 radar imaging satellites. James Rogers, Fox News, "'10 times larger than Hiroshima': How North Korea's huge nuclear blast caused a mountain to collapse," 11 May 2018 Planet maintains a fleet of more than 175 Dove imaging satellites circling the globe. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Satellite Photos Reveal Gigantic Chinese Fleet of More Than 40 Ships," 29 Mar. 2018 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

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

21 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

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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