[ foh-tuh-jen-ik ]
/ ˌfoʊ təˈdʒɛn ɪk /


forming an attractive subject for photography or having features that look well in a photograph: a photogenic face.
Biology. producing or emitting light, as certain bacteria; luminiferous; phosphorescent.
Medicine/Medical. produced or caused by light, as a skin condition.

Nearby words

  1. photogelatin,
  2. photogelatin process,
  3. photogelatine process,
  4. photogen,
  5. photogene,
  6. photogenic epilepsy,
  7. photogeology,
  8. photogram,
  9. photogrammetry,
  10. photograph

Origin of photogenic

First recorded in 1830–40; photo- + -genic

Related formspho·to·gen·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for photogenic

British Dictionary definitions for photogenic


/ (ˌfəʊtəˈdʒɛnɪk) /


(esp of a person) having features, colouring, and a general facial appearance that look attractive in photographs
biology producing or emitting lightphotogenic bacteria
Derived Formsphotogenically, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for photogenic



1839, "produced or caused by light," from photo- "light" + -genic "produced by" (see genus). Originally in photogenic drawing, the early term for "photography;" meaning "photographing well" is first attested 1928, from photo- as short for "photograph."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for photogenic


[ fō′tə-jĕnĭk ]


Producing or emitting light; phosphorescent.
Caused or produced by light, as a seizure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.