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

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 were strong words from the telegenic, soft-spoken leader, who has spent the two-day summit trying to strike a precarious balance between being Canada’s protector-in-chief but not inciting the mercurial American president. Dan Bilefsky, New York Times, "Trump’s ‘Bully’ Attack on Trudeau Outrages Canadians," 10 June 2018 Zubin Mehta—who, like Bernstein, was flashy, telegenic and musically indulgent—followed Boulez. David Mermelstein, WSJ, "New York’s New Maestro," 1 Oct. 2018 The effect is pure Diana—instantaneous, telegenic warmth. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "No One Did Denim Better Than Princess Diana," 21 Aug. 2018 Photo: ulises ruiz/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images Having been kicked out of power in 2000, the PRI won back the presidency six years ago with Enrique Peña Nieto, a telegenic candidate. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, "Mexico Vote Snubs the Political Establishment," 2 July 2018 But there’s a problem with the telegenic white people in the Kavanaugh picture: one of them is President George W. Bush. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Supreme Court Pageant Could Come Down to Looks," 5 July 2018 Their telegenic union may be a lesson in overcoming the orthodoxies that divide us. New York Times, "Margaret Hoover and John Avlon on their Post-Partisan Marriage," 11 July 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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The first known use of telegenic was in 1936

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English Language Learners Definition of telegenic

: tending to look good or seem likable on television

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having no equal

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