- a movie: He signed a three-picture deal to star in the new franchise.
- pictures, Older Use. movies collectively, as an art; cinema: So, you want to be in pictures?
verb (used with object), pic·tured, pic·tur·ing.
QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!
Origin of picture
OTHER WORDS FROM picture
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH picturepicture , pitcher
Words nearby picture
BEHIND THE WORD
Where does picture come from?
A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. But what about the word picture? We’re not going to write a thousand words on picture—although we could. Believe us when we say we could. So, here’s a briefer word picture (see what we did there?) on the origin of this versatile word.
In its most general sense, a picture is a visual representation of something, especially in the form of a painting, drawing, photograph, or the like. A picture can also refer to a mental image, among other senses. One meaning of picture, as a verb, is “to represent something in a picture or pictorially”—pictorial being a related adjective form variously used to refer to pictures.
The word picture entered English around 1375–1425, borrowed directly from the Latin word pictūra, “the act of painting, a painting.” The word is based on pict(us), the past participle of the verb pingere, meaning “to paint.” The verb could also mean “to draw, embroider, represent,” among other senses. The second part of pictūra is -ūra, a noun suffix represented as -ure in English. See our entry at –ure to learn more about this suffix.
The meaning of the word picture has been very stable in English. Just as it originally did in the late 1300s, a picture can still refer to a drawing or painting— whether it’s your kid’s crayon-scrawled family portrait on your fridge or Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa in the Louvre. Both are masterpieces, as far as we’re concerned. Please note, though, that when referring to formal or professional works, we often use the name of the medium (painting, photograph, film), with picture referring to more informal or amateur creations.
But picture has also been remarkably adaptable, readily lending itself to images created by new technologies: photography, cinema, TV, and all the pictures we take on our smartphones and post on social media.
The word movie—it’s easy to forget in an age of Netflix streaming and viral TikTok videos—is shortened from the phrase moving picture. And what are digital images composed of? Tiny pixels. That word is based on pix, a variant of pics, a common shortening of picture. A picture, we might say today, is worth (many) thousands of pixels.
Did you know ... ?
As we noted in the previous section, picture ultimately comes from the Latin verb pingere. Picture is not the only word English gets from this root, however.
Pingere evolved into the Old French peindre, whose past participle was peint, source of the English paint and related forms. That means a painting, etymologically speaking, is a picture.
Did you know these words are also rooted in the Latin pingere, “to paint”?
Example sentences from the Web for picture
Exclude the blue states, and the economic picture shifts dramatically.An only-red-states America probably isn’t one Trump would actually like|Philip Bump|September 17, 2020|Washington Post
However, a complete picture of their clinical effect remains unclear.The ‘inactive' ingredients in your pills could harm you|By Yelena Ionova/The Conversation|September 15, 2020|Popular Science
It also seems like the legacy of the Olympic Games is completely left out of the picture.
Smith shared a picture of him setting next to Hubert—a monumental occasion considering the two hadn’t sat down with each other in 27 years.‘Full Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’ Cast Reunites To Celebrate The Show’s 30th Anniversary|Hope Wright|September 11, 2020|Essence.com
Those pictures can really boost your memory of this material.
The same picture emerges from middle class men in the U.S., Canada, and the Nordic countries.
That was accomplished by cops such as the one whose picture was clutched so tightly by his widow on Sunday.
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’|Tom Sykes|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
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|DAILY BEAST
We want to give the families and the other cops, too, as clear a picture as we can.
She looked from the picture to her daughter, with a frightful glare, in their before mild aspect.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4|Jane Porter
Each picture bore a label, giving a true description of the once-honoured gem.
And sure enough when Sunday came, and the pencil was restored to him, he promptly showed nurse his picture.Children's Ways|James Sully
Mr. Agnew saw the picture, recognised its merit, and wrote a cheque for the full amount asked.
A furious controversy concerning this picture had arisen among art critics.
British Dictionary definitions for picture
- 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 motion picture; film
- (as modifier)picture theatre
Word Origin for picture
Idioms and Phrases with picture
In addition to the idiom beginning with picture
- picture is worth a thousand words, one
- get the message (picture)
- in the picture
- pretty as a picture
- take a picture
- the picture