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 The cardboard pictorial cards are still sought today for their art and messaging. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, "Advertising art showcased great talents: Yenke Peddler antiques," 22 Apr. 2021 The show teaches in vivid pictorial form the now far-too-long-running lesson of meeting hatred and violence with nonviolence and grace. BostonGlobe.com, "How children’s books carry on the struggle for civil rights," 9 Apr. 2021 My schoolbooks emphasized that Trinidad and Tobago was a rainbow utopia, evident by the shoehorning of as many creeds and races as could possibly fit into small, grayscale pictorial representations. Amanda Choo Quan, Harper's BAZAAR, "I Grew Up in a Majority-Minority Country. We Still Have a Problem with Anti-Blackness," 1 Apr. 2021 The black-and-white photographs have dynamic compositions (lots of diagonal vectors and pictorial torque) and are reminiscent of the work of Mary Ellen Mark. Washington Post, "Trump’s America, through the lens of two Italian photographers," 24 Oct. 2020 Other exhibits include a pictorial history of the island and mementos honoring the Coast Guard's role in protecting the coast. Stratton Lawrence, Travel + Leisure, "Hilton Head Island Travel Guide," 26 Feb. 2021 The relatives on his father’s side had owned cameras for more than a century, leaving a pictorial record of New England life going back to the 1890s. John Leland, New York Times, "A Teenager Was Bullied. His Ancestors Saved Him.," 26 Feb. 2021 Space becomes porous behind, around, and in front of the subject: a revolving-door effect, spinning pictorial depth out into the real world. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "When a Museum Feels Like Home," 8 Feb. 2021 As Carolina Miranda pointed out in the L.A. Times, the Capitol is already a kind of pictorial representation of American history, albeit a pretty distorted one. The Editors, Curbed, "How Do We Preserve Artifacts From the Capitol Attacks?," 11 Jan. 2021 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

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The first known use of pictorial was in 1646

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Statistics for pictorial

Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

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

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