im·​ag·​ery | \ˈi-mij-rē, -mi-jə-\
plural imageries

Definition of imagery 

1a : pictures produced by an imaging system

b : the product of image makers : images also : the art of making images

2 : figurative language

3 : mental images especially : the products of imagination

Examples of imagery in a Sentence

The book contains a great deal of sexual imagery. The movie was full of biblical imagery.

Recent Examples on the Web

This allows the filmmakers to run wild, packing the picture with bright, colorful imagery studded with a profusion of real-life online corporate presences. The Seattle Times, "4 movies open the day before Thanksgiving in the Seattle area," 20 Nov. 2018 There is explicit imagery of white supremacists, including Ku Klux Klan robes and hoods, and a deeply unsettling rubber blackface mask worn by a white soldier. Mark Olsen,, "Review: 'The First Purge' delivers genre pleasures with a timely message of resilience," 3 July 2018 Rolling out exclusively on Instagram’s new long-form video platform IGTV, the film is filled with disturbing imagery. Dave Quinn,, "Selena Gomez, Horror Movie Star? Watch Her Creepy Turn in Petra Collins' New Short Film," 21 June 2018 The conviviality stood in sharp contrast to the President's earlier summit in Canada, where imagery of frustrated western allies crowding around a smirking Trump was quickly distributed by the German chancellery. Jeremy Diamond, Jeff Zeleny And Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Trump resets the world stage," 13 June 2018 Kicking off his set with a short and sincerely scary slasher film, 21 Savage meandered through a number of hits off his 2017 debut Issa Album, backed by slick horrorcore visuals rich with the satanic imagery so key to his nihilistic persona. Drew Lazor,, "'But then again, I may be drunk': Post Malone takes on Festival Pier," 24 May 2018 The judge did not agree to call Navy Adm. Kurt Tidd, the commander who supposedly rebuffed Rishikof's request for fresh aerial imagery of the war court compound. Carol Rosenberg, miamiherald, "Judge orders top Pentagon lawyer to testify about alleged meddling in the 9/11 case | Miami Herald," 23 May 2018 In another high-profile case, an officer was photographed wearing a shirt with racist imagery. CBS News, "D.C. police get required history lesson to address racial bias," 7 May 2018 Even if Trump was making a hyperbolic claim to bolster a policy objective, the imagery of enemy combatants slipping into the country escalates the heated immigration rhetoric to new heights. Aaron Nelsen, San Antonio Express-News, "Trump’s claim that ‘enemy combatants’ are pouring across the southern border worries advocates," 2 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imagery.' 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 imagery

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for imagery

Middle English ymagerie "images portrayed in sculpture, painting, etc.," borrowed from Anglo-French, from ymage, image image entry 1 + -erie -ery

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Statistics for imagery

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for imagery

The first known use of imagery was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for imagery



English Language Learners Definition of imagery

: pictures or photographs

: language that causes people to imagine pictures in their mind

: pictures of people or things in a work of art


im·​ag·​ery | \ˈi-mij-rē, -mi-jə-\

Kids Definition of imagery

: pictures or photographs of something satellite imagery


im·​ag·​ery | \ˈim-ij-(ə-)rē \
plural imageries

Medical Definition of imagery 

: mental images eidetic imagery especially : the products of imagination psychotic imagery

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More from Merriam-Webster on imagery

Spanish Central: Translation of imagery

Nglish: Translation of imagery for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of imagery for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about imagery

Comments on imagery

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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