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

Add pops of white throughout a room—from picture frames and pillows to the servingware in your china cabinet—to naturally draw attention throughout the space. Lauren Hubbard, ELLE Decor, "Why You Shouldn’t Underestimate the Simplicity of White," 1 May 2019 Simply download the Domino's app and use it to take a picture of a pizza, any pizza. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Domino's Pizza-Spotting App Is a Window Into a Future of Justified Paranoia," 20 Feb. 2019 Jason Zweig is correct that if people were able to eliminate their emotions completely from the picture, invest in a diversified portfolio of index funds, and adjust the... WSJ, "Not All Financial Planning Is Created Equal," 15 Apr. 2019 The pictures, when viewed together, form a record of America and its changing face. Ian Malone, Vogue, "The National Portrait Gallery and Christy Turlington Burns Celebrate Vogue’s Tonne Goodman," 9 Apr. 2019 People [were] always met with a wall of the same search result, the same picture, over and over again of the pale Muslim women, with only their eyes showing, faceless and looking very negative, very depressed, very oppressed. Shammara Lawrence, Allure, "What MuslimGirl's Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Wants to See From the Beauty Industry in 2019," 27 Mar. 2019 In both cases, the owner is shown taking some personal (a picture, or a necklace) from one device to the other—just as files can be migrated from one PC to the next. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Windows 7 will use pop-ups to warn users of the operating system's impending death," 12 Mar. 2019 Now that the series’ longtime central protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, is out of the picture, new games will now focus on new characters (at least for the time being). Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Ars Technica’s best games of 2018," 24 Dec. 2018 But skill isn’t the whole picture, and Blevins often doesn’t compete at the highest levels of the game. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "In 2018, Ninja became Twitch’s first mainstream star," 20 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One day Stefanie, who’d rediscovered the exhilaration of skiing with her older children (pictured above, along with her youngest son), approached the principal of the town’s only K–8 school. Melody Warnick, Woman's Day, "These Small-Town Heroes Are Helping Their Communities Thrive," 2 Apr. 2019 The album cover itself also features Chief Montana’s handiwork: Dawn is pictured wearing the kind of feathered headdress the king of a tribe would usually wear; Chief Montana handmade the piece for Dawn at her request. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Dawn Richard Captures the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans in All Their Glory," 13 Mar. 2019 Nvidia The very high-speed NVLink interconnect previously appeared in very high-cost data center GPUs, but the GeForce RTX NVLink Bridge (pictured at top) will only set you back $80 for the two-slot version. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Nvidia Scanner uses math to auto-overclock GeForce RTX graphics cards to their limit," 14 Sep. 2018 The couple divorced in 2016, and Matt is now dating a woman named Caryn Chandler, who is pictured in the first photo above. Eileen Reslen, Good Housekeeping, "Molly and Jacob Roloff Made a Rare Appearance With Their Family Over the Weekend," 23 July 2018 Mears won in 1984, one of his four victories, In the tradition of Indy 500 tickets, the previous year’s champion is pictured the following year. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Sights and sounds away from cars make it a colorful Indianapolis 500," 27 May 2018 The image appears to be a screengrab from a paparazzi shot and pictures Hyland looking super cute and candid with her new layered hair. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Sarah Hyland Just Debuted a New Shag Haircut, and She’s Almost Unrecognizable," 20 Mar. 2019 Indeed, doing their part to feed the evening’s enchantments were case upon case of Dolce & Gabbana’s statement-making baubles; guests could amire (in the flesh) the very jewels pictured in the book. Marley Marius, Vogue, "Queens, Alta Moda Di Dolce & Gabbana," 13 Mar. 2019 Although not pictured, Maddie tags Kailand in a photo of his brother Mandla on her Instagram account. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Maddie Ziegler and Kailand Morris' Relationship," 4 Feb. 2019

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

14 May 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).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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