tele·​ge·​nic | \ ˌte-lə-ˈje-nik How to pronounce telegenic (audio) , -ˈjē-\

Definition of telegenic

: well-suited to the medium of television especially : having an appearance and manner that are markedly attractive to television viewers

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The History of Telegenic

Telegenic, which began to appear in print in the 1930s, is essentially a compound formed out of "television" and "photogenic." "Photogenic" is also the word that caused the addition of a new sense to "-genic," namely "suitable for production or reproduction by a given medium" (as in the occasionally seen "videogenic": "The '80s were a time that created a lot of videogenic bands who weren't necessarily compelling live artists...." - Ron Shapiro, quoted in Entertainment Weekly, September 25, 1998). "Telegenic" may seem like a word that would primarily refer to people, but there is evidence for telegenic events (such as popular sports), objects, and responses. Occasionally, one even sees reference to a telegenic attitude or other intangible.

Examples of telegenic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Curry tied for 11th last year after placing fourth in 2017 at the telegenic tournament. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, "Tahoe golf: Steph Curry in feature group with Justin Timberlake, Tony Romo," 10 July 2019 Onstage, the red, white and blue digital graphics gave the production — beamed out live on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo with some recurring sound and transmission screw-ups — an invitingly crisp, telegenic look. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "The opening night of Campaign 2020 kind of laid an egg," 27 June 2019 On the strength of her telegenic personality and her 48 L.P.G.A. victories, which included three majors, Lopez broadened the audience, and appetite, for women’s golf. Karen Crouse, New York Times, "L.P.G.A. Has an Abundance of Stars but Scarcely a Stage," 24 June 2019 On the strength of her telegenic personality and her 48 LPGA victories, which included three majors, Lopez broadened the audience, and appetite, for women’s golf. Karen Crouse,, "LPGA has stars and drama but could use a brighter stage," 24 June 2019 Imagine a world in which the first son of the United States fell in love with the equally telegenic (and sweet AF) Prince of England. Elena Nicolaou,, "35 Outstanding LGBTQ+ Books Of 2019," 7 June 2019 The Canadian media loved the telegenic and vibrant new leader then; today pundits across the political spectrum question his leadership, temperament and policy knowledge. ... Michael Taube, WSJ, "The Green Threat to Canada’s Liberals," 14 May 2019 Gantz, a tall, telegenic ex-general with salty hair, delivered his keynote speech to an ecstatic crowd of thousands of people. Aron Heller, The Seattle Times, "Israeli ex-army chief launches campaign to replace Netanyahu," 29 Jan. 2019 After extensive dental and plastic surgery, there is barely a mark on Stanton’s telegenic face. New York Times, "Giancarlo Stanton Gets Taste of Revenge, but Yankees Can’t Complete a Sweep," 4 June 2018

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

1936, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for telegenic

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for telegenic

The first known use of telegenic was in 1936

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More Definitions for telegenic



English Language Learners Definition of telegenic

: tending to look good or seem likable on television

More from Merriam-Webster on telegenic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with telegenic

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