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 ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.