[ foh-toh-shop ]
/ ˈfoʊ toʊˌʃɒp /
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a brand name for computer software used to digitally alter digital photographs or other graphics.
verb (used with object), Pho·to·shopped, Pho·to·shop·ping.
(often lowercase) to digitally alter (a photograph or other graphic) using image-editing software such as Photoshop:Her face is nicely Photoshopped in the ad.They’ve photoshopped the car onto an image of a beautiful beach.
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Origin of Photoshop

First recorded in 1990–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does photoshopped mean?

When a graphic or photograph has been photoshopped, it has been altered in some way using digital image-editing software like its namesake, the program Photoshop.

While so much of media is professionally edited, calling something photoshopped specifically suggests it is fake or misleading—often to subjectively alter the appearance of a celebrity or to spread disinformation.

Note: As a noun, Photoshop is a proprietary name, and so is capitalized. Used as a generic verb in popular contexts, Photoshop is often written as a lowercase photoshop (cf. google for “to search online” ).

How is photoshopped pronounced?

[ foh-toh-shopd ]

What are some other forms of photoshopped?


What are some other words related to photoshopped?


Where does photoshopped come from?

Adobe Photoshop is a digital image-editing program created by brothers Thomas and John Knoll in 1987. The brothers sold the distribution license to Abode Inc. in 1988. Since then, Photoshop has become an industry leader for graphic designers in professions ranging from advertising to merchandising. If a travel company, for instance, wanted to make a tropical sunset more dramatic, or if a clothing company wanted to swap out t-shirt colors on a model, they may very well use Photoshop.

A few short years after the program debuted, we were already seeing Photoshop used as a verb (to photoshop) and verbal adjective (photoshopped). While Photoshop is still legally protected as a trademark name, the term became so common and widespread in the 2000s that many users don’t capitalize it and even use it for image-editing programs that aren’t Photoshop. Compare google as a generic verb for “to search for something online”—which most of us do on the specific search engine, Google.

In the 2000s, entertainment, fashion, news, and education publications came under particular fire for photoshopping pictures of people to make them look skinnier, more proportioned, or even lighter-skinned. In 2000, the University of Wisconsin-Madison took great heat when it was revealed that they had photoshopped the face of a Black person onto an image of an all-white crowd to make the picture (and student body) appear more diverse. In 2008, L’Oreal was accused of making Beyoncé look whiter. In 2015, Calvin Klein was called out for making singer Justin Bieber look more muscular and … more well-endowed. In 2017, actor Lupita Nyong’o criticized Grazia magazine for editing her hair to make it appear more European by getting rid of her natural hair texture. That year, France even passed a law requiring all edited images of models to bear a “retouched photo” label in an effort to combat eating disorders and unrealistic body standards it felt photoshopping encouraged.

With the rise and accessibility of desktop publishing in the early 2000s, more everyday users learned Abode Photoshop for recreational purposes like creating humorous images and memes, changing personal photographs to hide flaws or enhance certain features, or altogether fabricating images to spread fake news.

One internet pastime is pointing out photoshop “fails,” images of poor and obvious photoshopping, as well as “wins,” where the use of photoshopping is seen as particularly clever or inspired.

How is photoshopped used in real life?

Calling out something as photoshopped is particularly aimed at popular publications accused of making a celebrity look more attractive in some way, especially when it comes to weight, physique, skin color, and hair. Publications or other groups of people may also be called out when they make someone look more villainous—as when the skin tone of a person of color gets darkened for racist purposes.

Photoshopped images are often posted on the internet as a form of disinformation. Even more sophisticated are the video and audio manipulations of deepfakes.

Because it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction in our digital lives, genuine, impressive images occasionally may need a disclaimer or proof that they haven’t been photoshopped.

More examples of photoshopped:

“A Huawei spokesman said: “In the build up to England v Colombia, Huawei UK photoshopped the image for fun but it’s really taken off and captured the hearts of England fans.”
—Tom Powell, London Evening Standard, July 2018

“The images which undergo this ‘removal’ were once testaments to those who came before us and the mark they had left. this seemingly photoshopped technique, as huckins illustrates, ‘forces us to examine our assumptions regarding the longevity of individual influence and institutions, thus raising enormous questions concerning the fragility of legacy.’”
—Kat Barandy, Designboom, June 2018

How to use Photoshop in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Photoshop

/ (ˈfəʊtəʊˌʃɒp) /

verb -shops, -shopping or -shopped
(tr) to alter (a digital photograph or other image), using an image editing application, especially Adobe Photoshop
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