pho·​to·​re·​al·​ism ˌfō-tō-ˈrē-ə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce photorealism (audio)
variants or less commonly photo-realism
: the quality in art (such as animation or painting) of depicting or seeming to depict real people, objects, etc. with the exactness of a photograph
Luca is largely a departure from the sort of animation style we're used to seeing in Pixar movies, swapping photorealism for something more stylised …Patrick Cremona
Photorealism in gaming means the characters and scenery are supposed to mirror real life in visuals as closely as possible.Elizabeth Gipe
[Robyn] Penn works from found images … and in the process of painting brings a ghostly, ephemeral quality to the photorealism of the documented ice-scapes.Alexandra Dodd
: a movement in painting characterized by photographic exactness of detail
A couple of years later his friend and fellow tennis pro Vitas Gerulaitis introduced him to photorealism. Now that's really art, McEnroe thought. It looks just like photographs.Franz Lidz
photorealist adjective
or less commonly photo-realist
A natural offshoot of Pop Art and heir to one-man movements like Edward Hopper, photorealist paintings depicted the postwar American landscape, highlighting Vietnam War pessimism and the plight of working-class people in the recession-era '70s. Martha Schwendener
photorealist noun
or less commonly photo-realist
plural photorealists also photo-realists
[Don] Coen's goal, like that of the early photorealists, is to paint the images just as they would appear as projected slides. Carol Dickinson
photorealistic adjective
or less commonly photo-realistic
… using machine learning to make rendered footage look photorealistic. Nathan Ord

Examples of photorealism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Exploring the painterly nuances of AI photorealism, Danielle King will release Lex Deux Amis, the first work in what promises to be yet another standout series by the artist. Ana María Caballero, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 Imagine the photorealism possible with even smartphone shots today – and the possibility of faithfully translating crisp, realistic images to fabric and wallcovering. Charlotte Observer, 1 Feb. 2024 NFTs, more financial instrument than new art form, burned hot and fast, largely supplanted by AI imagery, which has so far mostly produced a uniformly bland style of photorealism. Max Lakin, New York Times, 25 June 2023 Mock exhibitors can be found standing at vendor booths that strive for photorealism. Lee Gimpel, Forbes, 21 June 2021 While other photorealism painters such as Richard Estes and Ralph Goings favored images such as gleaming diners or glassy street scenes, Mr. Gertsch first gained attention as an observer of the Swiss counterculture. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2022 The life of photorealism pioneer and celebrated American painter/sculptor Audrey Flack is examined in a new documentary, which delves into the feminist’s long-term struggles as the mother of a child with autism. John Benson, cleveland, 11 Nov. 2020 Set in a world of fantastic creatures and tall-ships verisimilitude circa 1700, The Sea Beast weds cartoon stylization with striking photorealism. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 July 2022 Sim had become fascinated by a style of comic art popular in the 1950s and 60s known as photorealism, which used meticulous linework with the pen or brush to simulate the visual dynamics and detail of photography. Rob Salkowitz, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'photorealism.' 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

1961, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of photorealism was in 1961

Dictionary Entries Near photorealism

Cite this Entry

“Photorealism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!