pho·​tog·​ra·​phy fə-ˈtä-grə-fē How to pronounce photography (audio)
: the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (such as film or an optical sensor)

Example Sentences

He studied both film and still photography. Landscape photography is her hobby.
Recent Examples on the Web The snapshot is an attempt to combine photography and modern art in surprising ways. Carolyn Hagler, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 May 2023 Before even cracking open the book, fans are rewarded with eye-catching photography showcasing a celebratory Max Verstappen on the front cover and the incredible teamwork of the Ferrari pit crew on the back cover. Jack Fitzgerald, Car and Driver, 14 May 2023 Their rapid dissemination also rekindled an unsettling debate - one that has lingered since the advent of photography: Why does anyone need to see such images? Marc Fisher And Naomi Nix, Anchorage Daily News, 14 May 2023 One was for a team of reporters that worked on a package of stories related to the city council leaks; another went to one of my regular collaborators, Christina House, for her stellar feature photography. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2023 In 2008, Preston Gannaway of The Monitor won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for her intimate chronicle of a family coping with a parent’s terminal illness. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 12 May 2023 Principal photography is set to take place in Vermont in September 2023. Brent Lang, Variety, 11 May 2023 After taking me to lunch and a photography exhibit, Adam proposed at my favorite LA indie bookstore, Skylight Books, beneath the Ficus tree that blooms in the center of the store. Ruth Madievsky, Good Housekeeping, 10 May 2023 Currently, in pre-production, Hot Mess is set to begin principal photography in early 2024. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'photography.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1839, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of photography was in 1839

Dictionary Entries Near photography

Cite this Entry

“Photography.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


pho·​tog·​ra·​phy fə-ˈtäg-rə-fē How to pronounce photography (audio)
: the art or process of making pictures by means of a camera that directs the image of an object onto a surface (as film) that is sensitive to light

More from Merriam-Webster on photography

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