pix·​el | \ ˈpik-səl How to pronounce pixel (audio) , -ˌsel \
plural pixels

Definition of pixel

1 : any of the small discrete elements that together constitute an image (as on a television or digital screen) If the ball is flying from left to right across a video screen, a pixel at one fixed location on the screen will get darker and darker as time ticks on because it depicts points farther and farther to the left on the ball.— Frédo Durand et al.
2 : any of the detecting elements of a solid-state optical sensor (such as a CCD or CMOS device) The team used a new CCD detector that has an 8,192 by 8,192 pixel array, which makes it the world's largest astronomical CCD.Astronomy the … CMOS image sensor provides a 9-µm pixel size …— Mathew Dirjish

Examples of pixel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Photo: David Pierce/The Wall Street Journal OnePlus’s primary audience is the sort of tech-savvy user who likes big phones with beefy specs: The 6 has a 6.3-inch screen with a pixel resolution of 2280 by 1080. David Pierce, WSJ, "This $530 Phone Stands Up to the $1,000 Competition," 29 May 2018 The display choice is striking too, with less pixel density than what's on the iPhone 11 and bezels around the frame that take up a good bit of screen real estate. Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN, "The new budget iPhone SE is the right phone for an uncertain time," 25 Apr. 2020 The 2021 Escalade's curved OLED display features twice the pixel density of a 4K television and more than 38 total diagonal inches of vibrant resolution. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "Spike Lee's new film stars him and 2021 Escalade," 23 Jan. 2020 The sensors fuse together depth information recorded in each pixel of the image with regular RGB imaging, which uses red, blue, and green light to create an array of colors. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "The Future of Virtual Reality—and Spying—Lies in a Bag of Potato Chips," 31 Mar. 2020 The system maps the live digital image of me, measuring the brightness of each pixel. John Seabrook, The New Yorker, "Dressing for the Surveillance Age," 9 Mar. 2020 But pixels aren’t the sole determinant of image quality. Amrita Khalid, Quartz, "The world doesn’t need 8K TV—yet," 24 Jan. 2020 Subtle tweaks to the pixels in an image of a helicopter, for instance, can trick a program into thinking it’s looking at a dog. Will Knight, Wired, "This Technique Uses AI to Fool Other AIs," 23 Feb. 2020 Next, image-segmentation algorithms looked at the pixels corresponding to the crystals. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Mad Scientists Are Using Crystals to Generate Random Numbers," 19 Feb. 2020

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

1965, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pixel

pix + element

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Time Traveler for pixel

Time Traveler

The first known use of pixel was in 1965

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Statistics for pixel

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pixel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pixel. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for pixel


How to pronounce pixel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pixel

: any one of the very small dots that together form the picture on a television screen, computer monitor, etc.


pix·​el | \ ˈpik-səl How to pronounce pixel (audio) \

Kids Definition of pixel

: any of the small parts that make up an image (as on a computer or television screen)

More from Merriam-Webster on pixel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pixel

Britannica English: Translation of pixel for Arabic Speakers

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