pic·​ture | \ ˈpik-chər How to pronounce picture (audio) \

Definition of picture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a design or representation made by various means (such as painting, drawing, or photography)
2a : a description so vivid or graphic as to suggest a mental image or give an accurate idea of something the book gives a detailed picture of what is happening
b : a mental image
3 : image, copy he was the picture of his father she was the very picture of health
4a : a transitory visible image or reproduction
c pictures plural : movies
6 : situation took a hard look at his financial picture


pictured; picturing\ ˈpik-​chə-​riŋ How to pronounce picturing (audio) , ˈpik-​shriŋ \

Definition of picture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to paint or draw a representation, image, or visual conception of : depict also : illustrate
2 : to describe graphically in words
3 : to form a mental image of : imagine

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Synonyms for picture

Synonyms: Noun

icon (also ikon), illustration, image, likeness

Synonyms: Verb

depict, image, portray, represent

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Examples of picture in a Sentence


I hung the picture on the wall. The book has a lot of pictures. Draw a picture of your house. The staff looked at the financial picture of the company. The overall economic picture is improving.


I can still picture the house I grew up in. I can't picture changing jobs at this point in my life. Picture what it would be like if you didn't own a car. Can you picture him as a teacher?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After years spent as a home stylist for countless magazine shoots, catalogs, ad campaigns and more, Eddie Ross knows a thing or two about creating a picture-perfect bedroom. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "How a Professional Set Stylist Makes the Perfect Bed," 21 Feb. 2019 The best of science in pictures this year, from the last breath of the last of a species to an interplanetary road trip. Ernie Mastroianni, Discover Magazine, "Discover's Images of the Year 2018," 20 Dec. 2018 Cruises are unique in their negatives but also their positives — what else ferries you to and from picture-perfect destinations in a vessel dedicated to pampering its inhabitants? Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "The case against cruises," 15 Nov. 2018 Small Ship Line #5: Paul Gauguin Cruises The single-ship Paul Gauguin focuses solely on the Pacific, treating its 332 guests to picture-perfect beaches and dramatic scenery in Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Fiji year-round. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Cruise Lines in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 The quest for good lighting, extra backdrops, luxe props, and a picture-perfect setting are all parts of the struggle also known as doing it for the ‘gram. Katelyn Chef, Teen Vogue, "This Penthouse Apartment Was Designed for Influencer Photoshoots," 1 Oct. 2018 Gisele Bündchen is challenging the myth that she's lived a picture-perfect supermodel life. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gisele Bündchen Reveals She Had Severe Panic Attacks During Her Modeling Career," 27 Sep. 2018 That element is contained within the Storage portion of Settings, as shown in the first picture in the body of this story. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft warns that overstuffed hard drives could stall the Windows 10 October 2018 update," 20 Sep. 2018 In the background of her pictures, her boyfriend of over a year can be seen biting down on his knuckles, and generally freaking out over his hot girlfriend. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Wells Adams Lost All Chill Over Sarah Hyland at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party," 26 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan often delivers speeches in front of images of Atatürk, who is pictured here beside Mr. Erdogan’s own image in an address to his party in Ankara in September. David Gauthier-villars, WSJ, "A Craze for Atatürk Gives New Cachet to Turkey’s Founding Father," 22 Feb. 2019 Twenty-one years later, the second Rhodes Brothers Ten Cent Store, pictured here, opened on Dec. 15, 1924. Paul Dorpat, The Seattle Times, "The fate of the Rhodes Stores turned on a dime," 26 Oct. 2018 On Harbour Island in the Bahamas—one of the most famous beaches pictured here—the pink hue comes from foraminifera, a microscopic organism that actually has a reddish-pink shell, while the sand is a mix of coral, shells, and calcium carbonate. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most Beautiful Pink Sand Beaches in the World," 16 Aug. 2018 Parent Kandy Escotto says her 5-year-old son, Aaron, pictured here, was bullied by Rosalba Suarez, his Kindergarten teacher at Banyan Elementary. Colleen Wright, miamiherald, "Mom's secret recording catches kindergarten teacher calling 5-year-old a "loser"," 5 July 2018 An older model Dodge Caravan, such as the 2003 model pictured here, had a drive belt slip off. Bob Weber, chicagotribune.com, "Drive belts don't just fall off in the rain," 24 June 2018 One of the men pictured here was directly responsible for my date rape. Aisha Harris, New York Times, "ABC Pulls Episode of ‘The Proposal’ After Sexual Assault Accusation," 22 June 2018 They’re pictured sitting on a giant tree branch, the duke and duchess dressed down in jeans while George wears wellies and Charlotte, a navy blue cardigan. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Kate Middleton Is Designing an Amazing Garden," 11 Feb. 2019 Markle was pictured wearing a black dress with a wool coat draped over her shoulders. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Beige Aritzia Coat Should Be In Everyone's Closet for Winter," 6 Dec. 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for picture


Middle English, from Latin pictura, from pictus, past participle of pingere to paint — more at paint

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Statistics for picture

Last Updated

19 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for picture

The first known use of picture was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for picture



English Language Learners Definition of picture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a painting, drawing, or photograph of someone or something
: an idea of how something or someone looks, of what something is like, etc.
: a general situation



English Language Learners Definition of picture (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have a thought, understanding, or idea about (something or someone)
: to show or represent (someone or something) in a painting, drawing, or photograph
: to describe (something or someone) in a particular way


pic·​ture | \ ˈpik-chər How to pronounce picture (audio) \

Kids Definition of picture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an image of something or someone formed on a surface (as by drawing, painting, printing, or photography)
2 : an idea of what someone or something might look like or be like The book gives a picture of frontier life.
3 : a perfect example of something She is the picture of health.
5 : an image on the screen of a television set


pictured; picturing

Kids Definition of picture (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to show or represent in a drawing, painting, or photograph The artist pictured her leaning on a fence.
2 : to form an idea or mental image of : imagine I can't picture myself skiing.
3 : to describe in a particular way The story pictured him as a gentle person.

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More from Merriam-Webster on picture

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with picture

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for picture

Spanish Central: Translation of picture

Nglish: Translation of picture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of picture for Arabic Speakers

Comments on picture

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


a shady place in a garden or forest

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