pix·​e·​lat·​ed ˈpik-sə-ˌlā-təd How to pronounce pixelated (audio)
of an image
: displayed in such a manner that individual pixels are discernible

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Is it pixelated or pixilated?

Pixelated is used to describe digital images in which individual pixels are discernable, as when you look closely at a large photo and can see the tiny dots that make up the image. Pixilated (coined from pixie, a pixie being a cheerful, mischievous sprite) is usually used to describe things considered whimsical, or people who seem dazed or lost in thought. While pixelated is a late 20th century coinage, pixilated has been in use since the mid-19th century.

Examples of pixelated in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Last week, a pixelated photo surfaced of a woman who appeared to be Kate wearing sunglasses in a car with her mother, Carole Middleton. Sydney Lake, Fortune, 13 Mar. 2024 That’s because, where credit scores might give a grainy, pixelated image of a borrower, AI models give a high definition, 3D video. Laura Bratton, Quartz, 2 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for pixelated 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pixelated.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


pixel + -ated (after pixilated)

First Known Use

1982, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pixelated was in 1982

Dictionary Entries Near pixelated

Cite this Entry

“Pixelated.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pixelated. Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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