- a visual representation of a person, object, or scene, as a painting, drawing, photograph, etc.: I carry a picture of my grandchild in my wallet.
- any visible image, however produced: pictures reflected in a pool of water.
- a mental image: a clear picture of how he had looked that day.
- a particular image or reality as portrayed in an account or description; depiction; version.
- a tableau, as in theatrical representation.
- motion picture.
- pictures, Informal: Older Use. movies.
- a person, thing, group, or scene regarded as resembling a work of pictorial art in beauty, fineness of appearance, etc.: She was a picture in her new blue dress.
- the image or perfect likeness of someone else: He is the picture of his father.
- a visible or concrete embodiment of some quality or condition: the picture of health.
- a situation or set of circumstances: the economic picture.
- the image on a computer monitor, the viewing screen of a television set, or a motion-picture screen.
- to represent in a picture or pictorially, as by painting or drawing.
- to form a mental picture of; imagine: He couldn't picture himself doing such a thing.
- to depict in words; describe graphically: He pictured Rome so vividly that you half-believed you were there.
- to present or create as a setting; portray: His book pictured the world of the future.
Origin of picture
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for picture
There is just no way of selling this picture with an innocent defense like, “she just asked for a snap.”Buckingham Palace Disputes Sex Allegations Against Prince ‘Randy Andy’
January 4, 2015
I noticed a picture of her daughter, who was my classmate, and out of curiosity visited her page.50 Shades of Iran: The Mullahs’ Kinky Fantasies about Sex in the West
IranWire, Shima Sharabi
January 1, 2015
We want to give the families and the other cops, too, as clear a picture as we can.Exclusive: Inside a Cop-Killer’s Final Hours
December 31, 2014
Elle magazine shot an editorial in September, one picture revealing a teacup pig sitting pretty by a mini Tyler Alexandra bag.Handbags: The More You Pay, The Smaller They Shrink
December 29, 2014
Then there was an event, an HRC event, and I took a picture with Monique, the actress and comedian.
As a last rally, he tried to picture the difficulties he might encounter.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Like everything else in that neighborhood, it was covered with picture writing.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
But now the picture that drifted through his mind was still more horrible.Way of the Lawless
How different a picture would the streets and public places then present!Sunday under Three Heads
There was less diversity of opinion in regard to Elinor's picture.The Prophetic Pictures (From "Twice Told Tales")
- a visual representation of something, such as a person or scene, produced on a surface, as in a photograph, painting, etc
- (as modifier)picture gallery; picture postcard Related adjective: pictorial
- a mental image or impressiona clear picture of events
- a verbal description, esp one that is vivid
- a situation considered as an observable scenethe political picture
- a person or thing that bears a close resemblance to anotherhe was the picture of his father
- a person, scene, etc, considered as typifying a particular state or qualitythe picture of despair
- a beautiful person or sceneyou'll look a picture
- a complete image on a television screen, comprising two interlaced fields
- a motion picture; film
- (as modifier)picture theatre
- the pictures mainly British and Australian a cinema or film show
- another name for tableau vivant
- get the picture informal to understand a situation
- in the picture informed about a given situation
- to visualize or imagine
- to describe or depict, esp vividly
- (often passive) to put in a picture or make a picture ofthey were pictured sitting on the rocks
Word Origin and History for picture
early 15c., "drawing, painting," from Latin pictura "painting," from pictus, past participle of pingere "to make pictures, to paint, to embroider," (see paint (v.)). Picture window is from 1938. Picture post-card first recorded 1899. Phrase every picture tells a story first attested 1900, in advertisements for an illustrated life of Christ. To be in (or out of) the picture in the figurative sense dates to 1900.
Expression a picture is worth a thousand words, attested from 1918, probably was from the publication trade (the notion that a picture was worth 1,000 words is in printers' publications by 1911). The phrase also was in use in the form worth a million words, the form used by American newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane (1864-1936) in an editorial much-read c.1916 titled "What is a Good Newspaper" in the "New York Evening Journal." In part it read, "After news and humor come good pictures. In this day of hurry we learn through the eye, and one picture may be worth a million words." It seems to have emerged into general use via the medium of advertising (which scaled down the number and also gave the expression its spurious origin story as "a Japanese proverb" or some such thing, by 1919). Earlier various acts or deeds (and in one case "the arrow") were said to be worth a thousand words.
late 15c. in the literal sense; 1738 in the mental sense, from picture (n.). Related: Pictured; picturing.