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

Gaveau, a landscape ecologist, has tracked the spread of plantations on Borneo—home of Indonesia's largest rainforest—in images from NASA's Landsat and data on oil palm concessions to produce the Borneo Atlas, a new online platform. Dyna Rochmyaningsih, Science | AAAS, "Courting controversy, scientists team with industry to tackle one of the world’s most destructive crops," 11 July 2019 In the images, released to celebrate the religious milestone, Archie looks adorable—as do his doting parents, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Brings Archie to Cheer on Prince Harry at a Polo Match," 10 July 2019 In that interview, Mr. Techakraisri promised that the flagship store in SoHo and STAGE, a new prototype in Manhattan’s meatpacking district that is supposed to reinvent fast food in the image of the brand, would remain open. Julia Moskin, New York Times, "Dean & DeLuca Closes Stores as Debts Pile Up," 10 July 2019 In the image, the KKW Beauty mogul leans in to kiss Saint, whose face was decorated in orange, blue and yellow face paint. Maria Pasquini,, "Kim Kardashian Praises Son Saint’s Cheeks in Sweet Mother-Son Photos: ‘I Want to Eat Them!’," 8 July 2019 Aside from the darling family vibes, there's also an incredible amount of history in the image. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Here's Your First Look at Archie's Royal Christening," 6 July 2019 The two can be seen entering the store together in images. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Blue Bell licker tracked down to Lufkin store, could face 20 years in prison, police say," 5 July 2019 The university's team, which includes Mengqiu Wang, discovered in satellite images that areas of this type of seaweed stretched across surface waters from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico. Marcus Lim,, "Sargassum seaweed staying on our beaches — indefinitely, study says," 5 July 2019 Back in the 1990s satellite images of Mount Michael showed what might be a lava lake but the imagery was too low resolution to confirm its existence. Sophie Sherry And David Williams, CNN, "Rare lava lake discovered on remote island is one of only eight," 4 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

An animated opening collage of Morrison images by artist Mickalene Thomas is also superb. Gary Goldstein, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am’ powerfully profiles beloved writer," 11 July 2019 Depending on the type of tracers used, PET can image the uptake of glucose or cell growth in tissues, among other phenomena. Julie Grisham, Scientific American, "Faster, clearer PET images offer new views on disease," 9 July 2019 For most of that time, few of the men could image being led by a woman. Lee Roop |,, "Apollo engineer helps woman rise to von Braun’s chair at NASA," 8 July 2019 Then, in 1994, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged the moon’s surface at near-infrared wavelengths, revealing the presence of mysterious bright and dark regions. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "NASA’s Dragonfly Mission Will Fly Through the Clouds of Titan, Saturn’s Biggest Moon," 28 June 2019 The researchers also imaged a setup with the letters L and T and compared their acoustic results with an optical method. Matthew Hutson, Science | AAAS, "Scientists use sound to see around corners," 17 June 2019 That helped lower overall spending by consumers and insurers by 3% for imaging services listed on the website compared with prices for imaging services not on the site but available in a state database, Mr. Brown said. Melanie Evans, WSJ, "One State’s Effort to Publicize Hospital Prices Brings Mixed Results," 26 June 2019 Sally Mann’s images counter a saccharine, naive notion of childhood and show how children’s lives can be fraught with violence, shame, confusion, and fear, as well as joy and grace. The New York Review of Books, "Carole Naggar," 25 May 2019 All of these new forms of imaging generate huge volumes of data—terabytes a day, enough that getting it down to the ground for processing becomes its own problem. The Economist, "A new business in small satellites orbiting the Earth," 15 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

15 Jul 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

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


to complain fretfully

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