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

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 Over the course of ten months of archaeological and anthropological work, experts were able to piece together a grim picture of what appears to have been a prehistoric hunting site. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Two Traps Where Woolly Mammoths Were Driven to Their Deaths Found in Mexico," 9 Nov. 2019 But to many Chileans, that success story – often touted as an economic miracle – doesn’t paint a full picture of their country. The Christian Science Monitor, "A life overflowing with meaning," 8 Nov. 2019 McKerrow arrived at the nearby U.S. Naval Academy 15 minutes before sunrise on June 28, 2018, for one of his favorite assignments: snapping pictures of induction day for incoming plebes. Paul Moakley, Time, "One Year After Surviving a Mass Shooting, the Capital Gazette Journalists Refuse to Be Silenced," 8 Nov. 2019 But in his remarkable 15-page statement delivered to Congress on Tuesday, Trump's top diplomat to Ukraine painted a picture of both. NBC News, "Graham says he's 'not going to read the transcripts'," 7 Nov. 2019 In January 2018, the Wolverines swept the Gophers in Minneapolis to claim the trophy and tweeted out a picture of their team crowded around the prize in a hallway inside 3M Arena at Mariucci. Jess Myers, Twin Cities, "Gophers, Michigan playing with trophy on the line — wherever it is," 7 Nov. 2019 With just four weeks remaining in the regular season, a clear picture of contenders has been painted across the state. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "High school football: A look at the class-by-class playoff standings through week eight," 6 Nov. 2019 On Twitter, Lu shared a picture of his team’s experimental setup, a tabletop covered in an intricate pattern of densely packed, gleaming metallic devices. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, "Quantum Computer Made from Photons Achieves a New Record," 6 Nov. 2019 These cities represent key access points for reproductive health services, and help paint a picture of the state of play outside the most populous parts of the country. Daniel Wolfe, Quartz, "These cities are standing up for reproductive rights in the age of Trump," 5 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For one client pictured above, Kupenga took the brown roots two shades darker and blended purple from the roots to the ends for a chocolate lilac masterpiece. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Chocolate Lilac Hair Is a Trending Take on Purple," 28 Oct. 2019 Photos were taken of coyotes, pictured here, and other animals passing through the wildlife corridor between Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and the Cleveland National Forest over almost two years of a study by Laguna Greenbelt. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "Human activity in wildlife corridor hinders animals’ movement, Laguna Greenbelt study says," 18 Oct. 2019 The marital home of Gwen Stefani, pictured, and ex-husband Gavin Rossdale has sold for $21.65 million. Neal J. Leitereg, Los Angeles Times, "Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s marital home sells for $21.65 million," 1 Oct. 2019 The Glendale chapter of the National Charity League sponsors many events that make the community a better place to live, including a holiday party, pictured above. Glendale News-Press, "Glendale area events: National Charity League to hold rummage sale," 24 Sep. 2019 The system is 95 percent accurate and can be used at distances of at least 200 meters, making them useful at locations such as military checkpoints (pictured above) and elsewhere. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Pentagon Can ID Your Heartbeat Using Laser Beams," 27 June 2019 Corrections posted August 29, 2013 The photo caption for this story was revised to correct the name of the library pictured and to clarify which college ranking system was being discussed. The Christian Science Monitor, "Corrections," 4 Mar. 2019 He is survived by his sisters, Eva (pictured here) and Zsa Zsa, and by all the humans who loved him. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Dexter, the emotional support peacock United Airlines wouldn't let fly, dies unexpectedly," 15 Aug. 2018 The Transition Laguna Harvest Festival — pictured in 2013 — is one of several events held at Bluebird Canyon Farms. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "Bluebird Canyon Farms can host more events, expand its apiary after Laguna council denies neighbors’ appeal," 11 Sep. 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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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

12 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Picture.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/picturing. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for picture


How to pronounce picture (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for picture

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with picture

Spanish Central: Translation of picture

Nglish: Translation of picture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of picture for Arabic Speakers

Comments on picture

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