[ pik-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-ee-uhl ]
/ pɪkˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr i əl /
Save This Word!


pertaining to, expressed in, or of the nature of a picture.
illustrated by or containing pictures: a pictorial history.
of or relating to the art of painting and drawing pictures, the pictures themselves, or their makers: the pictorial masterpieces of the Renaissance.
having or suggesting the visual appeal or imagery of a picture: a pictorial metaphor.


a periodical in which pictures constitute an important feature.
a magazine feature that is primarily photographic.



Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of pictorial

1640–50; <Latin pictōri(us) of painting (pic-, variant stem of pingere to paint + -tōrius-tory1) + -al1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for pictorial

/ (pɪkˈtɔːrɪəl) /


relating to, consisting of, or expressed by pictures
(of books, newspapers, etc) containing pictures
of or relating to painting or drawing
(of language, style, etc) suggesting a picture; vivid; graphic


  1. a magazine, newspaper, etc, containing many pictures
  2. (capital when part of a name)the Sunday Pictorial
pictorially, adverb
C17: from Late Latin pictōrius, from Latin pictor painter, from pingere to paint
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
What's This Word?