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

By leaving the experimental, erratic startup world and getting listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Uber and Lyft will assume images of being mature, stable, and transparent companies — a reputation neither has necessarily earned just yet. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Uber and Lyft are racing each other to go public. Here’s why.," 12 Dec. 2018 The bride first shared images of the ring in her engagement portraits after celebrating her engagement with friends and family in Mumbai. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Priyanka Chopra & Nick Jonas' Wedding: Everything You Need to Know," 4 Dec. 2018 Recent images of slices of a mouse brain require a supercomputer to assemble them into a 3D model of individual neurons and synapses. Ernie Mastroianni, Discover Magazine, "Meet the Man Who Takes Pictures of Microbes," 18 Oct. 2018 That, in turn, builds upon a promise Microsoft made last September, when the company said that images, audio, and video would be more intelligently catalogued within OneDrive or SharePoint, making them easier to find. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft adds video transcription to Microsoft 365 OneDrive to keep corporate content off YouTube," 28 Aug. 2018 But Trump’s deal-making image is far from flawless. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Angry over cutbacks, Trump threatens to end subsidies to GM," 27 Nov. 2018 Nowadays images are just arrays of electronic impulses on digital chips that can be viewed anywhere and have no permanent format, but in the beginning they were fixed in silver. William Meyers, WSJ, "‘Look Again: 45 Years of Collecting Photography’ Review: Familiar Faces and Outstanding Images," 26 Nov. 2018 The meaning behind the image is environmental degradation. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Forget the Mega Sales This Black Friday and Try Investing in “Savage Capitalism” Instead," 21 Nov. 2018 Still, for mainstream purposes, the image here is strong enough to make this a good deal in the $400 range. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—good tech for the home and home office," 19 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Macular degeneration is easy to detect by an ophthalmologist or optometrist, and it’s done by examining the retina and imaging it with special devices. Andrea K. Mcdaniels,, "Ask the Expert: Macular degeneration can lead to difficulty reading, recognizing faces and performing other fine tasks," 17 Apr. 2018 From that, the researchers calculated what the results would look like if it had been imaged by Hubble. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Galaxy mergers hide ravenous supermassive black holes," 14 Nov. 2018 The two satellites that make up Sentinel-1 use synthetic aperture radar to image the entire Earth every six days, transmitting the data to ground stations in Italy, Spain, and Norway. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Oops! Civilian Satellite Data Inadvertently Pinpoints Military Radars," 24 Oct. 2018 Currently, there’s no way to continuously image that entire range. Ernie Mastroianni, Discover Magazine, "Meet the Man Who Takes Pictures of Microbes," 18 Oct. 2018 That hasn’t stopped people from imaging what hanging out on martian soil might be like, though. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Glamp in a geodesic dome at this Mars-like campground," 3 Oct. 2018 Signs of potentially more serious injuries that may warrant CT imaging scans include vomiting, unconsciousness and severe, worsening headaches, according to the guidelines released Tuesday. Lindsey Tanner, The Seattle Times, "New advice on kids’ concussions calls for better tracking," 4 Sep. 2018 The discovery was made using high-tech satellite scans and imaging techniques that are able to differentiate between types of water, such as liquid or frozen, and whether it has been locked in the soil or minerals. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Stunning Moon discovery: Frozen surface water found on the Moon's polar regions, could aid space exploration," 21 Aug. 2018 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

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


Statistics for image

Last Updated

16 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on image

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with image

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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).


a knickknack or trinket

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