Definition of pictorial in English:



  • Of or expressed in pictures; illustrated:

    ‘feelings presented in a pictorial form’
    • ‘In addition to the display of vegetables, flowers and produce, there will be a pictorial exhibition depicting the club over its 25 years.’
    • ‘Student sketches may then be incorporated into an illustration or a pictorial theme of their own choosing, or even a textile print.’
    • ‘The solution was illustrated through a rich pictorial representation with icons representing computers, databases, and organizational functions.’
    • ‘I believe that reading children's pictorial books that depict the ancestry of different continents with children can make global education meaningful.’
    • ‘This could indicate that the pictorial representation based on the picture was more effectively compared to a following picture than the pictorial representation based on a sentence.’
    • ‘Their collection of photographs contains a pictorial history of the hilly district.’
    • ‘I wanted a pictorial representation of my home, but I didn't want to spend ages carefully preparing shots.’
    • ‘She stumbled across these pre-1947 charts with pictorial representations and corresponding captions of ‘India before Independence’.’
    • ‘The publishers have also been extremely fastidious in their selection of the book's 325 illustrations, providing a pictorial record spanning over a century and a half.’
    • ‘Early pictorial representation, using graphic symbols, reads both horizontally along register lines and vertically in an open field in the picture surface.’
    • ‘The paintings are a pictorial representation of women in various forms and through different channels drawing out the meaning and nuances of each stroke.’
    • ‘The last panel, the pictorial panel, illustrates the specific hazard.’
    • ‘The prose is illustrative but not an illustration-its pictorial interest should be sufficient ‘above all in itself’.’
    • ‘For the Chinese, both the ideographic script and pictorial representation functioned as graphic signs that expressed meaning.’
    • ‘The following is a pictorial representation of the typical contents of my lunch bag.’
    • ‘However, to pursue such an essentially pictorial question, illustrations and text need to be integrated.’
    • ‘The text was written first and he made a pictorial illustration from it.’
    • ‘Twelve illustrations, taken from pictorial representations in the Tracts, help establish the flavour of the period.’
    • ‘The painting is one of the few pictorial representations of one of the greatest figures in Scots history.’
    • ‘The machine gives shapes to pictures, maps, graphs etc., thereby helping the visually challenged to ‘read’ the pictorial representations.’
    illustrated, with illustrations, with pictures, with drawings, with sketches
    in pictures, in picture form, in photographs, photographic, graphic
    representational, depictive, illustrative, drawn
    View synonyms


  • [usually in names] A newspaper or periodical with pictures as a main feature:

    ‘he reported on cricket for the Sunday Pictorial’
    • ‘From the start, the old pictorials used a remarkable diversity of images.’
    • ‘In 1875 an American Christian missionary edited and published a pictorial, Children's Monthly, designed specially for children with a large number of exquisite and beautiful pictures.’


Mid 17th century: from late Latin pictorius (from Latin pictor painter, from the verb pingere to paint) + -al.