1. A visual representation or image painted, drawn, photographed, or otherwise rendered on a flat surface.
2. A visible image, especially one on a flat surface or screen: the picture reflected in the lake; focused the picture on the movie screen.
a. A vivid or realistic verbal description: a Shakespearean picture of guilt.
b. A vivid mental image.
4. A person or object bearing a marked resemblance to another: She's the picture of her mother.
5. A person, object, or scene that typifies or embodies an emotion, state of mind, or mood: Your face was the very picture of horror.
6. The chief circumstances of an event or time; the situation: How does the new boyfriend figure in the picture?
7. A movie.
8. A tableau vivant.
tr.v. pic·tured, pic·tur·ing, pic·tures
1. To make a visible representation of: In this photo, the mayor is pictured with several aides.
2. To form a mental image of; visualize: I pictured my grandfather as a young man coming to America.
3. To describe vividly in words; make a verbal picture of: pictured their heroism in glowing language.
[Middle English, from Latin pictūra, from pictus, painted, past participle of pingere, to paint; see peig- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus