[ pik-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-ee-uhl ]
/ pɪkˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr i əl /


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.

Nearby words

  1. pictograph,
  2. pictographic,
  3. pictography,
  4. pictor,
  5. pictores,
  6. pictorialism,
  7. pictorialize,
  8. pictorially,
  9. picts,
  10. picturable

Origin of pictorial

1640–50; < Latin pictōri(us) of painting (pic-, variant stem of pingere to paint + -tōrius -tory1) + -al1

SYNONYMS FOR pictorial
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pictorials

  • The four walls covered with cuts and engravings sheared from weekly pictorials and recklessly taken from parlor table books.

    Around The Tea-Table|T. De Witt Talmage

British Dictionary definitions for pictorials


/ (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
Derived Formspictorially, adverb

Word Origin for pictorial

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

Word Origin and History for pictorials



1640s, from Latin pictorius "of a painter," from pictor "painter," from past participle stem of pingere "to make pictures" (see paint (v.)) + -al (1). The noun meaning "journal in which pictures are the main feature" is first recorded 1844. Related: Pictorially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper