pix·​el | \ ˈpik-səl, -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

Real feature detectors tend to have receptive fields much smaller than 28 pixels on a side. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How computers got shockingly good at recognizing images," 18 Dec. 2018 An animator choreographs a routine using 3-D design software, and each drone gets mapped onto an individual pixel. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "For a More Inclusive Fourth of July Show, Send in the Drones," 4 July 2018 The top screen is where most of the infotainment functions live, a 10.1-inch, 1,540×720 pixel touchscreen. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "We’ve driven Audi’s first proper electric car, the 2019 e-tron SUV," 7 Dec. 2018 Enter Night Sight which uses machine-learning to choose just the right pixel information, and push up brightness, detail and color in whatever final photo Google’s algorithms have prescribed for the shot at hand. Jon Phillips, PCWorld, "Google Pixel 3: The 5 features that matter most," 9 Oct. 2018 Despite the design upgrade, reviewers say the extra pixels may not be worth the hefty price tag, especially since the iPhone XR starts at $749, has a 6.1-inch screen and is available in stores on Oct. 26. Krysia Lenzo, Fox News, "Apple iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max review roundup: Consumers should wait," 19 Sep. 2018 With the exact right amount of space between each piece of fabric, the layers begin to blend into a chromatic array of pixels. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Stunning art installation fills 400-year-old Greek ruin with colorful ‘pixels’," 27 July 2018 Attendees will learn to optimize advertisements based on data and build a targeted audience using audience-measurement platforms such as Facebook pixel. Allison Hagan, BostonGlobe.com, "Business agenda," 5 July 2018 The brightest stars in the image, Beta Gruis and R Doradus, saturated an entire column of camera detector pixels on the satellite’s second and fourth cameras. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "NASA unveils first images from TESS probe's alien planet hunting quest," 18 Sep. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near pixel

pivot stand

pivot tooth






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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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The first known use of pixel was in 1965

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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 \

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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a complex dispute or argument

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