verb (used with object), pic·tured, pic·tur·ing.

Nearby words

  1. pictorialism,
  2. pictorialize,
  3. pictorially,
  4. picts,
  5. picturable,
  6. picture book,
  7. picture card,
  8. picture disc,
  9. picture hat,
  10. picture house

Origin of picture

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin pictūra the act of painting, a painting, equivalent to pict(us) (past participle of pingere to paint) + -ūra -ure

Related forms
Can be confusedpicture pitcher

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for picture

British Dictionary definitions for picture



  1. a visual representation of something, such as a person or scene, produced on a surface, as in a photograph, painting, etc
  2. (as modifier)picture gallery; picture postcard Related adjective: pictorial
a mental image or impressiona clear picture of events
a verbal description, esp one that is vivid
a situation considered as an observable scenethe political picture
a person or thing that bears a close resemblance to anotherhe was the picture of his father
a person, scene, etc, considered as typifying a particular state or qualitythe picture of despair
a beautiful person or sceneyou'll look a picture
a complete image on a television screen, comprising two interlaced fields
  1. a motion picture; film
  2. (as modifier)picture theatre
the pictures mainly British and Australian a cinema or film show
another name for tableau vivant
get the picture informal to understand a situation
in the picture informed about a given situation

verb (tr)

to visualize or imagine
to describe or depict, esp vividly
(often passive) to put in a picture or make a picture ofthey were pictured sitting on the rocks

Word Origin for picture

C15: from Latin pictūra painting, 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 picture
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with picture


In addition to the idiom beginning with picture

  • picture is worth a thousand words, one

also see:

  • get the message (picture)
  • in the picture
  • pretty as a picture
  • take a picture
  • the picture
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.