from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A visual representation or image painted, drawn, photographed, or otherwise rendered on a flat surface.
  • noun A visible image, especially one on a flat surface or screen.
  • noun A vivid or realistic verbal description.
  • noun A vivid mental image.
  • noun A person or object bearing a marked resemblance to another.
  • noun A person, object, or scene that typifies or embodies an emotion, state of mind, or mood.
  • noun The chief circumstances of an event or time; the situation.
  • noun A movie.
  • noun A tableau vivant.
  • transitive verb To make a visible representation of.
  • transitive verb To form a mental image of; visualize.
  • transitive verb To describe vividly in words; make a verbal picture of.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To depict or represent pictorially.
  • To form a mental image or picture of; spread out before the mind's eye as in a picture.
  • To depict or describe in words; give a picture or vivid description of.
  • noun The art or work of a painter; painting.
  • noun A painting intended to exhibit the image of any person, scene, object, etc., in the natural colors, and with a more or less close approximation to the appearance of reality; especially, such a painting having sufficient merit to rank as a work of art.
  • noun Hence, any resemblance or representation executed on a surface, as a sketch or drawing, or a photograph.
  • noun An image; a representation as in the imagination.
  • noun Any actual scene, group, combination, or play of colors, etc., considered as supplying the elements or as a suitable subject of a painting: as, the children at play formed a pretty picture.
  • noun A vivid or graphic representation or description in words.
  • noun In entomology, a colored pattern on a white or clear surface: generally used in describing the wings of Hymenoptera, Diptera, and Neuroptera. See pictura
  • noun A representative; a pattern: as, a picture of incompetence; a perfect picture of a horse.
  • noun In medicine, the aggregation of phenomena presented by a disease.
  • noun In theatr., the combined optical effect of the scenery, furniture, lighting, etc., and the groupings in which the performers may happen to be placed at any given moment in the play.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To draw or paint a resemblance of; to delineate; to represent; to form or present an ideal likeness of; to bring before the mind.
  • noun obsolete The art of painting; representation by painting.
  • noun A representation of anything (as a person, a landscape, a building) upon canvas, paper, or other surface, produced by means of painting, drawing, engraving, photography, etc.; a representation in colors. By extension, a figure; a model.
  • noun An image or resemblance; a representation, either to the eye or to the mind; that which, by its likeness, brings vividly to mind some other thing
  • noun a moving picture.
  • noun a gallery, or large apartment, devoted to the exhibition of pictures.
  • noun a rod of metal tube fixed to the walls of a room, from which pictures are hung.
  • noun The record or message so represented.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A representation of anything (as a person, a landscape, a building) upon canvas, paper, or other surface, by drawing, painting, printing, photography, etc.
  • noun An image; a representation as in the imagination.
  • noun A painting.
  • noun A photograph.
  • noun informal A motion picture.
  • noun dated, informal ("the pictures") Cinema (as a form of entertainment)
  • noun A paragon, a perfect example or specimen (of a category).
  • verb transitive To represent in or with a picture.
  • verb transitive To imagine or envision.
  • verb transitive To depict.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb show in, or as in, a picture
  • noun a typical example of some state or quality
  • noun illustrations used to decorate or explain a text
  • noun the visible part of a television transmission
  • 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
  • noun a form of entertainment that enacts a story by sound and a sequence of images giving the illusion of continuous movement


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Latin pictūra, from pictus, painted, past participle of pingere, to paint; see peig- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English pycture, from Old French picture, from Latin pictūra ("the art of painting, a painting"), from pingō ("I paint").


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  • The picture in it is the first glance of the operator, as he selected it; whatever delicacy of detail told in the impression on his mind tells in the impression on the plate; whatever is more than that does not go to increase the richness of the result, _as picture_, but belongs to another sphere.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 77, March, 1864

  • Walpole's story of the French lady who asked for her lover's picture; and when he demurred observing that, if her husband were to see it, it might betray their secret -- "O dear, no," she said -- just like Mr. Macaulay -- "I _will have the picture_, but it _need not be like_!"

    Famous Reviews

  • You take a picture of her while she's pinking but screw it up, possibly because your hand is covered in blisters at that point, but you nevertheless want to thank her for all of her hard work so you post an alternative picture** of her, grab the napkins and the over-sized ruler and head home in triumph.


  • *looks at GRRM's picture in the instructor lineup* *looks at Delaney's picture* *looks at Jeff Vandermeer's picture*

    eee! (Story plug)

  • For instance, crossroads battles with the likes of ground whiz George Sotiropoulos beaten for the first time in his UFC career this past weekend and flashy newcomer Anthony Pettis could fascinate and split opinion, while BJ could also patiently eye up the title picture in the hope that a champion not named Edgar eventually becomes the proprietor of his former throne.

    Elliot Worsell: BJ Penn -- What Next?

  • I soon realized Fitzgerald was not asking questions of me but speaking to the grand jury members, painting a word picture for them.


  • As for talk of the running time, Zack Snyder mentioned to the NY Times while discussing Tales of the Black Freighter that "the main picture is nearing three hours long and I know I have a fight on my hands just with that."

    Watchmen's Minutemen Revealed Plus Running Time Talk «

  • The title picture: seems to have heeded Norman Tebbits criticism about not wearing a tie; then forgotten his handkerchief!

    Giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Tony Blair said: “I...

  • I soon realized Fitzgerald was not asking questions of me but speaking to the grand jury members, painting a word picture for them.


  • The term picture book suggests that it’s for children, which it is, but not primarily.

    An interview with Shaun Tan « Drawn! The Illustration and Cartooning Blog


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