pho·​to | \ ˈfō-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce photo (audio) \
plural photos

Definition of photo

 (Entry 1 of 3)


photoed; photoing; photos

Definition of photo (Entry 2 of 3)



Definition of photo (Entry 3 of 3)

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for photo

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of photo in a Sentence

Noun We gave them a framed family photo for their anniversary. You aren't allowed to take photos inside the theater. Verb photoed the historic mansion for a decorating magazine
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Georgia Tech alumni Twitter feed posted a black-and-white photo of the scene at Grant Field in 1918. Dan Gelston, The Christian Science Monitor, "To play or not to play: Lessons from 1918 on sports during virus," 22 May 2020 King sent a photo of the two-faced-cat to her husband, BJ King. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Two-faced kitten named Biscuits and Gravy born in Oregon," 22 May 2020 Inside, a shimmering photo of Simon Pagenaud taking a swig of cold milk just above their section, row and seat numbers for this year’s race. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "Without an Indy 500 in May, longtime fans grapple with emotions: It doesn't feel like May," 22 May 2020 On Thursday, the fashion and beauty mogul promoted her SKIMS Summer Mesh collection by posting a behind-the-scenes photo of herself wearing a nude bodysuit from the line teamed up lace-up stilettos. Hanna Flanagan,, "Kim Kardashian Is Now Exercising in a Bikini: See Her Wild 'Quarantine Workout' Photos," 22 May 2020 When Wright passed away, Kelly Rowland posted a photo on Instagram of the icon sandwiched between her and Beyoncé. Taiia Smart Young, Essence, "Watch: Betty Wright's Memorial Service Will Be Broadcast Via Livestream," 22 May 2020 In 2015, one such fan posted a set photo featuring Nightingall's pink shorts on Reddit. Christian Holub,, "Ken Nightingall, Star Wars boom operator known for his pink shorts, dies at 92," 21 May 2020 In 2013, Perry also uploaded a photo fo the home’s kitchen, focusing on the room’s double range stove. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "See Inside the Stunning LA Home Harry and Meghan Are Reportedly Living in Rent-free," 21 May 2020 By receiving absentee ballot applications at home, voters could fill them out and mail or drop them off at local clerks' offices or take a photo of them and email them to clerks, saving them an in-person visit. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Trump threatens to stop funding for Michigan if absentee ballots sent to all voters," 20 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The motivation behind the twist on photo pop-ups is simple: Make everyone feel like the center of attention. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "What is ModelLand? Tyra Banks envisions a place where you feel like a top model for a day," 2 Mar. 2020 That’s not to say that minimalism hasn’t made a memorable impact: A late-’90s Kate Moss needed only a swipe of red lipstick (and Johnny Depp on her arm) to look photo-ready. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "21 Iconic Cannes Beauty Moments: From Kate Moss to Kristen Stewart," 10 May 2019 But this year's changes–on iOS especially–are expected to be less dramatic than last year's update, which included a redesigned control center, more photo effects, enhanced discovery in the App Store, driving safety features, and of course, ARKit. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "What to Expect from Apple’s Annual Software Conference," 1 June 2018 NOPD Second District Detective Jerry Baldwin asked the victim to identify the shooter from a six-person photo line-up that included Williams' picture. Marie Simoneaux,, "Gambling argument sparked Gert Town shooting, police say," 3 Oct. 2017 Some attendees came to see the latest in tattoo designs, be it photo-realistic portraiture or fantastical scenes straight out of a sci-fi movie. Charles Passy, WSJ, "Tattoo Artists Make Their Mark at Expo," 16 July 2017 Police said officers were given the name and number for the party's photographer, which led to Butler, and put his photo in a six-person photo lineup. Emily Lane,, "Argument at birthday party in Desire Area ends with man stabbed in neck: warrant," 11 Aug. 2017 That included a link to what the sender claimed was photo evidence of their affair. Nicole Perlroth, New York Times, "Spyware’s Odd Targets: Backers of Mexico’s Soda Tax," 11 Feb. 2017 Photo transitions happen on the beat, to give it a bit more pop. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hands on with Microsoft's Story Remix, the new tool to make your photos pop," 15 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'photo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of photo


1860, in the meaning defined above


1868, in the meaning defined above


1878, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about photo

Time Traveler for photo

Time Traveler

The first known use of photo was in 1860

See more words from the same year

Statistics for photo

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Photo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for photo


pho·​to | \ ˈfō-tō How to pronounce photo (audio) \
plural photos

Kids Definition of photo

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on photo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for photo

Spanish Central: Translation of photo

Nglish: Translation of photo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of photo for Arabic Speakers

Comments on photo

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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