picture

1 of 2

noun

pic·​ture ˈpik-chər How to pronounce picture (audio)
1
: a design or representation made by various means (such as painting, drawing, or photography)
2
a
: a description so vivid or graphic as to suggest a mental image or give an accurate idea of something
the book gives a detailed picture of what is happening
b
: a mental image
3
: image, copy
he was the picture of his father
she was the very picture of health
4
a
: a transitory visible image or reproduction
c
pictures plural : movies
5
6
: situation
took a hard look at his financial picture

picture

2 of 2

verb

pictured; picturing ˈpik-chə-riŋ How to pronounce picture (audio)
ˈpik-shriŋ

transitive verb

1
: to form a mental image of : imagine
2
: to describe graphically in words
3
: to paint or draw a representation, image, or visual conception of : depict
also : illustrate

Example Sentences

Noun I hung the picture on the wall. The book has a lot of pictures. Draw a picture of your house. The staff looked at the financial picture of the company. The overall economic picture is improving. Verb I can still picture the house I grew up in. I can't picture changing jobs at this point in my life. Picture what it would be like if you didn't own a car. Can you picture him as a teacher? See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The collection of the newly dead from just three of this month’s mass shootings are the very picture of the ideals — inclusivity, setting aside differences — that America prides itself on at this time each November. Michael Wilson, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Nov. 2022 The collection of the newly dead from just three of this month’s mass shootings are the very picture of the ideals — inclusivity, setting aside differences — that America prides itself on at this time each November. Michael Wilson, New York Times, 24 Nov. 2022 That was a grim picture of the present, not just looking ahead to another potential term. Arkansas Online, 20 Nov. 2022 The stakes for the global economy are significant, with uncertainty about China’s economic picture serving as a central factor driving fears of recession around the world. Simone Mccarthy, CNN, 14 Nov. 2022 In its place is a picture of the couple at the Festival of Remembrance, an annual event at Royal Albert Hall to commemorate all those who have lost their lives in conflict, in 2018. Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 13 Nov. 2022 The Choice Map is a picture of our two mindset paths (Learner and Judger) and where each path is likely to take us in any circumstance. Rodger Dean Duncan, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2022 Is that the picture presented by Russia and the Russian army today? Anatol Lieven, Time, 8 Nov. 2022 In a world with nationalist-strongman politics ascendant on nearly every continent, Wu’s presentation was at once a dire and plausible picture of the stakes for geopolitics as well as human freedom. Ben Rhodes, The Atlantic, 7 Nov. 2022
Verb
Could picture yourself on the Oscar stage performing? Marc Malkin, Variety, 23 Nov. 2022 Their innovation was to picture the industrial world in a truly industrial manner: exactingly, repetitively, impassively. Chris Wiley, The New Yorker, 8 Nov. 2022 Just picture these paired-up with your favorite Champion hoodie and a pair of Air Force 1s. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 8 Nov. 2022 Still, expect some harrowing imagery and ideas, some of which aren't even depicted on screen; we're forced to picture it for ourselves. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 7 Oct. 2022 Just picture an Alexa on wheels with large, cartoon-y eyes roaming around your home… Here’s what Astro will be able to do after Amazon rolls out its first major software update. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 30 Sep. 2022 Heading into the summer of 2022, Mbappé could already picture his next step. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 6 Sep. 2022 Instead, picture a nasal spray or a patch stuck onto the skin for a few minutes. Cheyenne Haslett, ABC News, 26 July 2022 Conservative Mormons, who desired a more staid and reverent spirituality, could picture him with a serious demeanor, like the famous Del Parson portrait of a respectable prophet. The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'picture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Latin pictura, from pictus, past participle of pingere to paint — more at paint

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of picture was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near picture

Cite this Entry

“Picture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/picture. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

picture 1 of 2

noun

pic·​ture ˈpik-chər How to pronounce picture (audio)
1
: a design or image made on a surface (as by painting, drawing, or photography)
2
a
: a clear description in words
the book gives us a picture of another way of life
b
: a mental image : idea
do you get the picture?
3
: a particular combination of circumstances : situation
an improvement of the economic picture
4
a
: an exact likeness : copy
b
: a perfect symbol of something : embodiment
the picture of health
5
a
: an image on a screen
picture adjective

picture

2 of 2

verb

pictured; picturing ˈpik-chə-riŋ How to pronounce picture (audio)
ˈpik-shriŋ
1
: to draw or paint a picture of : depict
2
: to describe vividly
3
: to form a mental image of : imagine

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