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

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Other Words from image


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

These feature cartoon-style images of churches and other grand architectural relics of the city’s pre-Communist past. The Economist, "In China’s old urban neighbourhoods, conservationists sometimes win," 10 Aug. 2019 Central Marin and Mill Valley police obtained surveillance images from the three stores and distributed the information to other law enforcement agencies, according to court documents. Gary Klien, The Mercury News, "East Bay man admits sexual battery against teen at Marin mall," 9 Aug. 2019 So video game consoles that show violent games will be turned off, and workers will monitor screens in the electronics departments for violent images., "Bad day for Nektar, Dropbox; Walmart cuts violent images, not guns," 9 Aug. 2019 Gross and the mayor also addressed an image that circulated widely on social media this week of a wheelchair being crushed in the back of a garbage truck. Michael Levenson,, "Once again, Suffolk DA speaks out against South End police sweeps," 9 Aug. 2019 Chris Phillips, a filmmaker who lived in Canfield Green at the time, was among many whose livestream video captured images of police using pepper spray, tear gas and batons in their clashes with protesters. Fortune, "5 Years After Fatal Shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Racial Tensions Might Be More Intense," 9 Aug. 2019 Law enforcement authorities are investigating the NRA's finances, and the gun group has ousted top officials and traded lawsuits with the longtime marketing firm credited with helping to shape LaPierre's and the NRA's image. CBS News, "Scandal-ridden NRA head Wayne LaPierre digs in against gun control," 9 Aug. 2019 But then physicists started to see images from ICARUS, says Sam Zeller, a physicist at Fermilab. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Resurrected detector will hunt for some of the strangest particles in the universe," 8 Aug. 2019 Take this classic image used in psychological studies. Brian Resnick, Vox, "How desire can warp our view of the world," 8 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The researchers confined their search to three tiny patches of the sky that the HST had imaged with great sensitivity. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Galaxy hunters spot hidden giants in the early universe," 7 Aug. 2019 By imaging the star’s position and measuring the spectrum of its light, researchers hope to determine whether S0-2’s orbit around the black hole matches the path predicted by general relativity. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "A Star Orbiting in the Extreme Gravity of a Black Hole Validates General Relativity," 25 July 2019 Now, researchers are reporting results from the first brain-imaging studies of 40 of those diplomats, who were carefully examined by neurologists after returning home from Cuba. Benedict Carey,, "Were US diplomats attacked in Cuba? Brain study deepens mystery," 23 July 2019 Weaver will have follow up imaging on his arm either later this week or early next week. Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, "Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Jones faces Orioles for first time since leaving Baltimore," 22 July 2019 This achievement allowed the researchers to stimulate and image the neurons simultaneously. Karen Weintraub, Scientific American, "How to Make a Mouse Hallucinate," 19 July 2019 Comets and asteroids, by contrast, are well below our ability to image for the indefinite future. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "No exomoons yet, but we may have spotted a disk that will form them," 16 July 2019 The drawings showed stick figures behind bars, images the children created at a Catholic Charities Humanitarian respite center in McAllen, Texas shortly after release from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "Documenting 'complicated history': Smithsonian asks about chilling migrant children drawings," 8 July 2019 Each drone carries a pair of cameras and a thermal imaging cameras, and can send live video and still images back to their operators. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "US troops in Afghanistan will soon test a tiny, pocket-sized drone in the field," 30 June 2019

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

12 Aug 2019

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 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

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

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a wrong name or inappropriate designation

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