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 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

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?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And Judas and the Black Messiah has the first all-Black production team to be nominated for best picture. Jeremy Hsing, Fortune, "Oscar nominations are less white this year—but the Academy still has a long way to go," 24 Apr. 2021 The movies themselves -- which include five of eight best-picture nominees that primarily played on streaming services -- speak to the times, and the pandemic year, in different ways. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Oscars 2021: Small movies and potential firsts define a strange year as award shows limp to the finish," 23 Apr. 2021 Alabama has had its day at the Oscars, with actors from the state and films shot or set in it racking up major awards including best picture. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "11 amazing Alabama actors who deserved Oscar love," 23 Apr. 2021 Films by director Barry Jenkins, including Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, have been nominated for dozens of awards and have won quite a few, most notably an Oscar for best picture. Dawn Davis, Bon Appétit, "Director Barry Jenkins Would Pair Vintage Wine and Soul Food at His Dream Dinner Party," 23 Apr. 2021 This is where innovations like ours come into the picture. Afdhel Aziz, Forbes, "How Infinited Fiber Company Is Turning Trash Into Textiles - And Pioneering A Truly Circular Fashion Economy," 21 Apr. 2021 How does Moderna and the Covid-19 vaccine fit into the picture? Elizabeth Yuko, Rolling Stone, "What the Recent HIV Vaccine Research Findings Really Mean," 15 Apr. 2021 But as soon as the genre elements start creeping into the picture, ‘The Power’ quickly dims. Mark Olsen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Indie Focus: Sports and abuse in ‘Slalom’," 9 Apr. 2021 Where exactly a Recovery Rebate Credit fits into the tax picture remains perplexing. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "If you received stimulus payments, here’s why your tax refund might take longer," 8 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tudor, which had off-putting interiors (picture a canary yellow bedroom with a green closet and purple bath) that had scared off other prospective buyers. Grace Haynes, Southern Living, "This Decorating Duo Revived a 1940s Tudor in Knoxville With Garden-Inspired Style," 15 Apr. 2021 Girls fans might picture Shoshanna or Jessa, but the looks also align with Dunham’s modern magpie aesthetic. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "With Her Size-Inclusive 11 Honoré Collection, Lena Dunham Introduces a New Character," 7 Apr. 2021 Funnily enough, the siblings didn’t picture the Morse as a repository at first — because of its worldwide reputation in another area. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "Family’s blue-and-white legacy will brighten Morse Museum," 5 Apr. 2021 Steve May can still picture the moment he was introduced to Kyrsten Sinema, nearly 20 years ago. Melanie Mason Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "For Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, being in the majority puts her maverick instincts to the test," 22 Mar. 2021 Baxter can still feel the embraces in the postgame locker room, can still picture Driesell thrusting his left fist triumphantly in the air. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Thirty five years later, Len Bias’ masterpiece in the Dean Dome remains his valedictory statement," 19 Feb. 2021 Fans know the holes and can picture memorable moments with striking clarity. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, "Masters offers storied stage, and stiff challenge, for S.F. native Will Zalatoris," 7 Apr. 2021 Well, there were a couple things Drew probably didn't picture. Dave Skretta, ajc, "Bearing down: Baylor routs Houston 78-59 to reach title game," 4 Apr. 2021 Well, there were a few things Drew probably didn't picture. Dave Skretta, Star Tribune, "Bearing down: Baylor routs Houston 78-59 to reach title game," 3 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for picture

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for picture

Last Updated

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Picture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/picture. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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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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