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 picture (audio) , ˈpik-​shriŋ \

Definition of picture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

Synonyms for picture

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of picture in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb 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? See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Even as the Biden administration takes credit for righting the ship, however, the president’s advisers have recently begun to paint a gloomier picture. Lev Facher, STAT, 23 June 2022 Pretty as a picture: See Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge's first official portrait together. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 23 June 2022 Tashima screamed, gesturing to a large picture of the young boy and singling out his resemblance to Darnell. Jay L. Clendenin, Los Angeles Times, 22 June 2022 Complainants would be able to submit a picture or video capturing the license plate of the offender through the city’s 311 system. Alice Yin, Chicago Tribune, 22 June 2022 Stay true to yourself and know that there is a bigger picture here. Eric Berkley, Forbes, 22 June 2022 Aside from being a literal physical representation of a picture perfect family, the fashion genes are just as strong — their two daughters, Kaavia and Zaya, are already fashion icons in the making. Greg Emmanuel, Essence, 22 June 2022 Ayton been posting picture on Instagram with his namesake son. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 22 June 2022 And a slightly more complex picture of the restaurant’s future emerged. al, 22 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Now picture two guards, Daniel and his younger colleague Ammar, patrolling the area night and day to make sure no one goes anywhere near the river. Trinidad Barleycorn, Variety, 13 Apr. 2022 Now picture that style in conversation with the cosmic-cowboy sensibility that reached the high desert with rock star Gram Parsons (and his embroidered bell-bottoms) in the 1970s. Los Angeles Times, 10 Mar. 2022 Just picture him at the grill, killing the burger game in this canvas number. Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 18 May 2022 To understand the coastal grandmother, picture its opposite: the grimy style of Euphoria, with its tight fabrics, facial embellishments, hamster-sized purses, and sheen of sweat, cum, sebum, and gasoline. Glamour, 26 Apr. 2022 Then picture her at 12, meeting her manager-to-be for the first time: the same actor, with little pretense to obscuring the fact that this is a goofy adult play-acting as a preternaturally gifted kid. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 6 Apr. 2022 Then picture the relief of having your debt eliminated faster. Veronica Dagher, WSJ, 18 Mar. 2022 So picture me, with an unexpectedly large amount of car to my left, trying to balance on the clutch as cars nip and tuck down a street not wide enough for two to drive abreast, with a two-foot-thick medieval wall just beyond my rearview mirror. Mike Mcshane, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 Close your eyes and picture the perfect shampoo; a shampoo that smells amazing and intensely cleanses your hair. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of picture


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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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Time Traveler for picture

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

25 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Picture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/picture. Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for picture


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on picture

Nglish: Translation of picture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of picture for Arabic Speakers


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