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

Stewart found fame amid a generational changeover in Hollywood, with the emergence of social media enabling actors to cultivate their own public image—and enabling fans to feel entitled to every last pixel of information. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "Kristen Stewart Was Told She ‘Might Get A Marvel Movie’ if She Kept Her Sexuality Quiet," 3 Sep. 2019 The Chase Center has almost 25 million pixels and 75 million LEDs. Karl Mondon, The Mercury News, "Photos: The scoreboard at the Golden State Warriors’ Chase center is as big as a house," 27 Aug. 2019 The Chase Center has almost 25 million pixels and 75 million LEDs. Jim Harrington, The Denver Post, "Golden State Warriors unveil stunning new arena in San Francisco," 27 Aug. 2019 Gedanke then approximated each pixel to one of five shades of grey, and figured out which of the digits from 0 to 9 were most like each shade from a distance. Dave Linkletter, Popular Mechanics, "The Emerging Art of Drawing in Prime Numbers," 9 Aug. 2019 Finally, each place gets a score: the average score for each pixel of burnable land inside those boundaries. AZCentral.com, "Of small communities across 11 states, more than 500 have a higher wildfire hazard potential than Paradise, Calif.," 23 July 2019 With 24-bit color, a pixel can be built from 16.7 million shades of color. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Nvidia woos creators with 10 potent RTX Studio laptops, 30-bit color support for GeForce GPUs," 29 July 2019 Even the brand of scanner matters, as the pixel pattern can vary, disrupting how AI assesses the image. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "Artificial intelligence could revolutionize medical care. But don’t trust it to read your x-ray just yet," 17 June 2019 Hours after takeoff, peepers were still glued to pixels by the thousands, replaying Hart’s thunderous dunk on mobile devices across the city (now nearly 24,000 views). Aaron Carter, https://www.inquirer.com, "Jalen Roberts and JayDoeFilms among many videographers on the Philly high school sports scene," 5 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of pixel

1965, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pixel

pix + element

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pixel

Dictionary Entries near pixel

pivot stand

pivot tooth






Statistics for pixel

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pixel

The first known use of pixel was in 1965

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pixel



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

Comments on pixel

What made you want to look up pixel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!