pictures; pictured; picturing

Use the verb picture if you want people to imagine something vividly in their minds. If your story about your principal and some chickens is descriptive enough, your friends can picture the whole incident.

A picture is also a piece of art made by painting or drawing, like the pictures by famous artists you see in a museum. In a book, a picture is an illustration that accompanies the text, often in a child's picture book. You can also call a photograph a picture. Your dad might take so many pictures on vacation that it seems like you spent your entire childhood hiding from his camera.

Definitions of picture
  1. noun
    a visual representation (of an object or scene or person or abstraction) produced on a surface
    “they showed us the pictures of their wedding”
    synonyms: icon, ikon, image
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    bitmap, electronic image
    an image represented as a two dimensional array of brightness values for pixels
    a monochrome picture made by using several different shades of the same color
    collage, montage
    a paste-up made by sticking together pieces of paper or photographs to form an artistic image
    foil, transparency
    picture consisting of a positive photograph or drawing on a transparent base; viewed with a projector
    computer graphic, graphic
    an image that is generated by a computer
    the images and symbolic representations that are traditionally associated with a person or a subject
    a small picture inserted within the bounds or a larger one
    likeness, semblance
    picture consisting of a graphic image of a person or thing
    cyclorama, diorama, panorama
    a picture (or series of pictures) representing a continuous scene
    reflection, reflexion
    the image of something as reflected by a mirror (or other reflective material)
    CAT scan, scan
    an image produced by scanning
    echogram, sonogram
    an image of a structure that is produced by ultrasonography (reflections of high-frequency sound waves); used to observe fetal growth or to study bodily organs
    chiaroscuro painting or stained glass etc., in shades of grey imitating the effect of relief
    Identikit, Identikit picture
    a likeness of a person's face constructed from descriptions given to police; uses a set of transparencies of various facial features that can be combined to build up a picture of the person sought
    a montage that uses photographic images
    portrait, portrayal
    any likeness of a person, in any medium
    lantern slide, slide
    a transparency mounted in a frame; viewed with a slide projector
    overhead, viewgraph
    a transparency for use with an overhead projector
    type of:
    a creation that is a visual or tangible rendering of someone or something
  2. noun
    graphic art consisting of an artistic composition made by applying paints to a surface
    “his pictures hang in the Louvre”
    synonyms: painting
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    an abstract painting
    painting depicting a city or urban area
    an unskillful painting
    a painting created with paint that is made by mixing the pigments with water and a binder
    a painting produced by spreading paint with the fingers
    icon, ikon
    a conventional religious painting in oil on a small wooden panel; venerated in the Eastern Church
    painting depicting an expanse of natural scenery
    illumination, miniature
    painting or drawing included in a book (especially in illuminated medieval manuscripts)
    painting done in a range of tones of a single color
    mural, wall painting
    a painting that is applied to a wall surface
    nude, nude painting
    a painting of a naked human figure
    oil painting
    a picture painted with oil paints
    the reappearance in a painting of an underlying image that had been painted over (usually when the later painting becomes transparent with age)
    sand painting
    a painting done by Amerindians (especially Navaho); made of fine colored sands on a neutral background
    seascape, waterscape
    a painting of the sea (as distinguished from a landscape)
    a semiabstract painting
    still life
    a painting of inanimate objects such as fruit or flowers
    a Tibetan religious painting on fabric
    trompe l'oeil
    a painting rendered in such great detail as to deceive the viewer concerning its reality
    water-color, water-colour, watercolor, watercolour
    a painting produced with watercolors
    canvas, canvass
    an oil painting on canvas fabric
    a mural done with watercolors on wet plaster
    a watercolor executed with opaque watercolors mixed with gum
    wash, wash drawing
    a watercolor made by applying a series of monochrome washes one over the other
    type of:
    graphic art
    the arts of drawing or painting or printmaking
  3. noun
    illustrations used to decorate or explain a text
    “the dictionary had many pictures
    synonyms: pictorial matter
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    type of:
    artwork that helps make something clear or attractive
  4. verb
    show in, or as in, a picture
    synonyms: depict, render, show
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    depict with an illustration
    depict as if on a map
    type of:
    interpret, represent
    create an image or likeness of
  5. noun
    a situation treated as an observable object
    “the political picture is favorable”
    synonyms: scene
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    type of:
    situation, state of affairs
    the general state of things; the combination of circumstances at a given time
  6. noun
    a clear and telling mental image
    “he had no clear picture of himself or his world”
    synonyms: impression, mental picture
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    type of:
    image, mental image
    an iconic mental representation
  7. noun
    a graphic or vivid verbal description
    “too often the narrative was interrupted by long word pictures
    “the author gives a depressing picture of life in Poland”
    synonyms: characterisation, characterization, delineation, depiction, word picture, word-painting
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    descriptive word or phrase
    portrait, portraiture, portrayal
    a word picture of a person's appearance and character
    type of:
    description, verbal description
    a statement that represents something in words
  8. noun
    a typical example of some state or quality
    “the very picture of a modern general”
    “she was the picture of despair”
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    type of:
    exemplification, typification
    a representational or typifying form or model
  9. verb
    imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind
    synonyms: envision, fancy, figure, image, project, see, visualise, visualize
    realise, realize, see, understand
    perceive (an idea or situation) mentally
    visualise, visualize
    form a mental picture of something that is invisible or abstract
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    type of:
    conceive of, envisage, ideate, imagine
    form a mental image of something that is not present or that is not the case
  10. noun
    a representation of a person or scene in the form of a print or transparent slide; recorded by a camera on light-sensitive material
    synonyms: exposure, photo, photograph, pic
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    a photograph of a muscular man in minimal attire
    black and white, monochrome
    a black-and-white photograph or slide
    photographic print of plans or technical drawings etc.
    a photograph of an attractive woman in minimal attire
    a photograph or video taken at close range
    a photograph made by an early photographic process; the image was produced on a silver plate sensitized to iodine and developed in mercury vapor
    blowup, enlargement, magnification
    a photographic print that has been enlarged
    a single one of a series of still transparent pictures forming a cinema, television or video film
    a photograph that is printed on smooth shiny paper
    a photograph of a person's head
    hologram, holograph
    the intermediate photograph (or photographic record) that contains information for reproducing a three-dimensional image by holography
    a photograph taken from a distance
    photograph reduced to the size of a dot (usually for purposes of security)
    arial mosaic, mosaic, photomosaic
    arrangement of aerial photographs forming a composite picture
    mug shot, mugshot
    a photograph of someone's face (especially one made for police records)
    a photographic copy of written or printed or graphic work
    photographic print, print
    a printed picture produced from a photographic negative
    a photograph taken with the help of a microscope
    radiogram, radiograph, shadowgraph, skiagram, skiagraph
    a photographic image produced on a radiosensitive surface by radiation other than visible light (especially by X-rays or gamma rays)
    shot, snap, snapshot
    an informal photograph; usually made with a small hand-held camera
    spectrogram, spectrograph
    a photographic record of a spectrum
    stereo, stereoscopic photograph, stereoscopic picture
    two photographs taken from slightly different angles that appear three-dimensional when viewed together
    a static photograph (especially one taken from a movie and used for advertising purposes)
    telephoto, telephotograph
    a photograph made with a telephoto lens
    a photograph transmitted and reproduced over a distance
    time exposure
    a photograph produced with a relatively long exposure time
    a photograph whose edges shade off gradually
    wedding picture
    photographs of bride and groom and their friends taken at their wedding
    scene, shot
    a consecutive series of pictures that constitutes a unit of action in a film
    a photograph that you take of yourself, typically with a digital camera
    moving or still pictures in contrasting colors that appear three-dimensional when superimposed
    a radiogram produced by radiation emitted by the specimen being photographed
    a photograph from which the background has been cut away
    a photocopy made on a Photostat machine
    a trial photographic print from a negative
    radiophoto, radiophotograph
    a photograph transmitted by radio waves
    X ray, X-ray, X-ray photograph, X-ray picture, roentgenogram, x-ray
    a radiogram made by exposing photographic film to X rays; used in medical diagnosis
    visible speech
    spectrogram of speech; speech displayed spectrographically
    a scene that is filmed but is not used in the final editing of the film
    a short evocative scene, as in a film or play
    type of:
    a creation that is a visual or tangible rendering of someone or something
  11. noun
    the visible part of a television transmission
    “they could still receive the sound but the picture was gone”
    synonyms: video
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    type of:
    visual communication
    communication that relies on vision
  12. noun
    a form of entertainment that enacts a story by sound and a sequence of images giving the illusion of continuous movement
    synonyms: film, flick, motion picture, motion-picture show, movie, moving picture, moving-picture show, pic, picture show
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    a movie that is made to be shown on television
    feature, feature film
    the principal (full-length) film in a program at a movie theater
    final cut
    the final edited version of a movie as approved by the director and producer
    home movie
    a film made at home by an amateur photographer
    collage film
    a movie that juxtaposes different kinds of footage
    coming attraction
    a movie that is advertised to draw customers
    a movie featuring shooting and violence
    short subject
    a brief film; often shown prior to showing the feature
    docudrama, documentary, documentary film, infotainment
    a film or TV program presenting the facts about a person or event
    cinema verite
    a movie that shows ordinary people in actual activities without being controlled by a director
    film noir
    a movie that is marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, menace, and cynical characters
    skin flick
    a pornographic movie
    rough cut
    the first print of a movie after preliminary editing
    silent movie, silent picture, silents
    a movie without a soundtrack
    slow motion
    a movie that apparently takes place at a slower than normal speed; achieved by taking the film at a faster rate
    talkie, talking picture
    a movie with synchronized speech and singing
    3-D, 3D, three-D
    a movie with images having three dimensional form or appearance
    musical, musical comedy, musical theater
    a play or film whose action and dialogue is interspersed with singing and dancing
    Western, horse opera
    a film or novel about life in the western United States during the period of exploration and development
    animated cartoon, cartoon, toon
    a film made by photographing a series of cartoon drawings to give the illusion of movement when projected in rapid sequence
    a short film and commentary about current events
    a short pornographic film shown in a small coin-operated booth
    type of:
    product, production
    an artifact that has been created by someone or some process
    a social event involving a public performance or entertainment
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘picture'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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