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 pictorial (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 Jackson is honored by the U.S. Postal Service with a pictorial envelope cancellation. Kori Rumore, chicagotribune.com, 7 Oct. 2021 Delos McCauley, a retired engineer and missionary who served in Africa and Nepal, will present a pictorial program featuring birds from Jefferson County. Arkansas Online, 21 Sep. 2021 But throughout, flowing rhythms connect these pictorial elements into an organic whole. Arthur Wheelock, WSJ, 27 Aug. 2021 The triptych illustrates the fundamentals of the Christian story in a pictorial narrative that connects its separate parts. Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2021 The film’s damp, autumnal middle-European vistas never feel emptily pictorial in their beauty. Guy Lodge, Variety, 28 Aug. 2021 Betty Rivard of Charleston, West Virginia, recently purchased pictorial rugs woven by Ella Mae Begay, a member of the Navajo Nation who has been missing since early June. The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Aug. 2021 Jackson’s writing, encyclopedic in knowledge—obscure sources make easy appearances—is a little short on pictorial and sensory intensity. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 12 Aug. 2021 The Valley Center History Museum has mounted a pictorial display to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics that highlights three local residents who made Olympics history. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Scrolling through Sisson's Instagram is now a loving pictorial of Arizona running, from the Valley canals up to Flagstaff and places in between. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, 7 Aug. 2021 His direction emphasizes the pictorial over the physical. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 9 June 2021 Probert was not particularly fond of cats, but this pictorial appealed to him as an advertising logo. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, 9 Jan. 2020 The Wall preened for magazine pictorials and played the heavy in spy novels. Time, 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, 10 June 2019 Playboy temporarily stopped featuring nude pictorials in 2015. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, 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

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The first known use of pictorial was in 1646

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Dictionary Entries Near pictorial




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Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pictorial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pictorial. Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for pictorial



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

More from Merriam-Webster on pictorial

Nglish: Translation of pictorial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pictorial for Arabic Speakers


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