pic·​to·​ri·​al | \ pik-ˈtȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce pictorial (audio) \

Definition of pictorial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to a painter, a painting, or the painting or drawing of pictures pictorial perspective
2a : of, relating to, or consisting of pictures pictorial records
b : illustrated by pictures pictorial weekly
c : consisting of or displaying the characteristics of pictographs
d : suggesting or conveying visual images pictorial poetry



Definition of pictorial (Entry 2 of 2)

: a periodical having much pictorial matter

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Other Words from pictorial


pictorially \ pik-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce pictorially (audio) \ adverb
pictorialness noun

Synonyms for pictorial

Synonyms: Adjective

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Examples of pictorial in a Sentence

Adjective a pictorial record of the trip that photojournalist is planning to do a primarily pictorial report on the famine in Africa
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Tempers rise in the courtroom as Rajeev Dhawan, counsel for the Muslim parties, tears a pictorial map submitted by the Hindu Mahasabha purportedly showing lord Ram’s exact birthplace in Ayodhya. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "A timeline of the Babri-Ayodhya case—from land dispute to criminal conspiracy," 30 Sep. 2020 The District Theatre will hang a pictorial history of TOTS in its windows in the coming weeks. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, "Ron Spencer, longtime Theatre on the Square director and well-known actor, has died at 73," 15 Sep. 2020 Winter counts were the pictorial calendars used by the Lakota, drawn or painted images showing the most significant event of a year. Chuck Haga, Star Tribune, "Review: 'Winter Counts,' by David Heska Wanbli Weiden," 21 Aug. 2020 Galton would have appreciated the speed of the software and the advantages of the algorithm—but what of the ethics of the very act of image capture and comparison, of the ethics of pictorial appropriation itself? Jessica Helfand, Scientific American, "Darwin, Expression, and the Lasting Legacy of Eugenics," 13 Aug. 2020 But the center’s signature feature was the keyboard of pictorial symbols accessible on computerized touchscreens and packets placed in every room and even printed on researchers’ T-shirts. Kevin Miyazaki, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Can Bonobos Teach Us About the Nature of Language?," 10 Aug. 2020 The brothers spent the rest of the Twenties between Berlin, where Baladine’s brother lived, and Paris, though Balthus also spent time in Italy studying the frescoes of Piero della Fransceca, a significant influence on his pictorial style. Ryan Ruby, The New York Review of Books, "Pierre Klossowski, Brilliant Brother of Balthus," 8 Aug. 2020 But it's come to serve as a catch-all for other kinds of pictorial writing, from the Mayans to the Incas. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Fun New Way to Annoy Your Friends: Text Them in Hieroglyphics," 24 July 2020 How do depictions of the halo change as pictorial space grows complex. Ben Lerner, The New York Review of Books, "The Rose," 6 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Probert was not particularly fond of cats, but this pictorial appealed to him as an advertising logo. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, "From Chessie the cat to Old Ironsides: Yenke Peddler antiques," 9 Jan. 2020 The Wall preened for magazine pictorials and played the heavy in spy novels. Time, "The Berlin Wall Is a Reminder That Barriers Last Only As Long as the Political Will to Defend Them," 8 Nov. 2019 As EW’s Marc Snetiker analyzed, the four pictorials probably represent either the four classical elements (water, earth, fire, air) or the four Gregorian seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter). Christian Holub, EW.com, "Frozen 2 unveils new poster ahead of upcoming trailer," 10 June 2019 Playboy temporarily stopped featuring nude pictorials in 2015. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Playboy's Playmate of the Year Nina Daniele says she's a feminist: 'We’re not forced to pose nude'," 2 May 2018

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


1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1844, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pictorial


Late Latin pictorius, from Latin pictor painter — more at picturesque

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Time Traveler for pictorial

Time Traveler

The first known use of pictorial was in 1646

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Statistics for pictorial

Last Updated

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pictorial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pictorial. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for pictorial


How to pronounce pictorial (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pictorial

: of or relating to painting or drawing
: having or using pictures


pic·​to·​ri·​al | \ pik-ˈtȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce pictorial (audio) \

Kids Definition of pictorial

1 : of or relating to pictures pictorial art
2 : having or using pictures a pictorial magazine

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