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
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
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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The words Charlie’s Angels conjure an iconic image: that of three women facing different directions, looking ready for a fight. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "How Charlie’s Angels Benefits From the ‘Female Gaze’," 15 Nov. 2019 Now, researchers led by display expert Sriram Subramanian at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom have upped the complexity of the ultrasound display creating larger, more complex images. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "See the new Star Wars-like display that could ‘revolutionize’ virtual reality," 13 Nov. 2019 In recent years, Facebook has been trying to clean up its service, which is rife with hate speech, pornographic images, and violence. Fortune, "Facebook Removed Nearly 750,000 Instagram Posts Showing Child Exploitation," 13 Nov. 2019 Researchers have harnessed acoustic waves to produce levitating three-dimensional images, create a sensation of touch and even supply a soundtrack. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, "Hearing Is Seeing: Sound Waves Create a 3-D Display," 13 Nov. 2019 That image of my 19 year old self, to my delight, has come to represent notions of independence, rebellion, identity expression, diversity, and gender fluidity. Vogue, "Walt Cassidy—aka Waltpaper—Publishes His New York: Club Kids Book and Collaborates With Opening Ceremony," 12 Nov. 2019 From the looks of the new images, there’s also some legal trouble in store for the girls. Ruth Kinane,, "Gillian Anderson and Asa Butterfield are back in first Sex Education season 2 photos," 11 Nov. 2019 That opening image, whose surrealism gives way to a more or less straightforward, chronological slide down the time line of Tina Turner’s life, feels like an attempt to reunify Turner and her work, and to give a hint as to their source. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "The Legend of Tina Turner," 11 Nov. 2019 Many people sense a mysterious connection to the afterlife, dramatized here in a striking image, as a beach full of fish washed up on an inky black shore. Wired, "Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding Is Beautiful, Smart—and Kinda Boring," 7 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On-site lab and imaging services available as well. Tracy Maness, Houston Chronicle, "Memorial Village ER to offer Halloween candy X-ray screenings," 29 Oct. 2019 The authors propose that information transfer using noninvasive approaches could be improved by simultaneously imaging brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in order to increase the information a sender could transmit. Robert Martone, Scientific American, "Scientists Demonstrate Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans," 29 Oct. 2019 The lighting will be favorable when LRO passes over the site in October and once again attempts to locate and image the lander. Fox News, "India's Vikram probe made 'hard landing' on the Moon, NASA says," 27 Sep. 2019 And because atmospheric refraction will only enhance the light of objects precisely aligned to be directly behind Earth as seen by a terrascope, a single device would only be able to image a small fraction of the sky. Leila Sloman, Scientific American, "Earth Could Be a Lens for a Revolutionary Space Telescope," 14 Aug. 2019 Three of the largest telescopes around the world -- Keck, Gemini South and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope -- were able to image the burst. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "A mysterious fast radio burst was traced to a galaxy 3.6 billion light-years away," 27 June 2019 But in recent years, satellite operators ranging from the Air Force to telecommunications companies to startup Earth-imaging ventures have stressed the benefits of prioritizing mini-payloads on certain launches. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "SpaceX Launches 19th Rocket in a Year, a Company Record," 3 Dec. 2018 Liftoff of Spain's PAZ (pahs) radar-imaging satellite is now rescheduled for 9:17 a.m. Eastern time Thursday., "SpaceX postpones California satellite launch due to winds," 21 Feb. 2018 Later, imaging revealed that Marr actually had posterior reverse encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). Dr. Manny Alvarez | Fox News, Fox News, "How a nearly brain dead 'miracle man' survived after being taken off life support," 8 Sep. 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

Time Traveler for image

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Image.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for image


How to pronounce image (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for image

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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