Definition of picture in US English:

picture

noun

  • 1A painting or drawing.

    ‘draw a picture of a tree’
    • ‘He told us that he loved hockey, baseball and drawing pictures.’
    • ‘Those who were gifted at drawing or painting might contribute a picture.’
    • ‘Animation is the time-consuming art of drawing pictures in sequences, which, when viewed rapidly, simulate motion.’
    • ‘A table was provided with paper and writing materials, as well as marker pens for drawing pictures.’
    • ‘Less than 100 pages of text, pictures and figure drawings are divided into ten chapters of unequal length.’
    • ‘‘It's simple,’ he explains, going to the whiteboard and drawing pictures frantically.’
    • ‘If you buy the upgrade package the cartoonist will draw pictures of the characters in your book, talking about you.’
    • ‘The girl has to stay at home in front of the table every day, drawing pictures and dreaming of going to school with her peers.’
    • ‘More than a dozen original pictures (both drawings and paintings) of the dodo now exist.’
    • ‘Martin's pictures are mostly pen-and-ink drawings with occasional additions of watercolour.’
    • ‘There are pictures, drawings, and even boxes with additional information.’
    • ‘The walls were filled with pictures of birds, drawings, art, and anime.’
    • ‘He writes and prints in periodicals verses, drawings and reproductions of pictures which he draws with a brush held in his mouth.’
    • ‘What about drawing pictures and leaving them in people's letterboxes?’
    • ‘Starting at 9am, practise your drawing skills by painting Easter pictures to add to your Easter holiday memories.’
    • ‘You can ask the children to create a different ending to the story or draw different pictures to illustrate what they have read.’
    • ‘The various pictures, drawings and paintings had their captions in Irish.’
    • ‘His remarkable piano recitals and penchant for drawing detailed pictures are characteristic of someone with the condition.’
    • ‘Drawing pictures are top of her list of favourite things at school.’
    • ‘Drawing pictures or making statuettes is also unique to us humans.’
    painting, drawing, sketch, print, canvas, delineation, cartoon, portrait, portrayal, illustration, artist's impression, artwork, depiction, likeness, representation, image, icon
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    1. 1.1 A photograph.
      ‘we were warned not to take pictures’
      • ‘Realising that it would make me look as if I had something to hide, I gave in and just let the photographer take pictures of me.’
      • ‘A production photographer wants to take pictures of us next to the famous Emmerdale sign.’
      • ‘Speed cameras currently only take pictures of the number plates of speeding cars.’
      • ‘A photographer arrives and wants to take pictures of me in the Gallery.’
      • ‘Those days, photographers rarely went to studios to take pictures.’
      • ‘Press photographers were there to take pictures.’
      • ‘Cars are routinely checked, cameras take pictures of licence plates and details of the ownership of a vehicle are matched with the driver.’
      • ‘A photographer was also summoned, to take pictures of the happy residents living in their sophisticated surroundings.’
      • ‘Following the reticent trend of the day, he declined to talk to the press and asked photographers not to take pictures.’
      • ‘I need a photographer, since I can't take pictures of my face very well.’
      • ‘And so I asked her if I could take pictures of her for my photography class.’
      • ‘Today, most people ask portrait photographers to take pictures of them and their families.’
      • ‘The father of one of her friends is a photographer, and he had planned to take pictures of a group of them in their long dresses.’
      • ‘This camera was controlled by children via the Internet to take pictures of space which were then downloaded into the classroom.’
      • ‘The photographer wants to take pictures of me with my laptop.’
      • ‘The use of long lens photography to take pictures of people in private places without their consent is also forbidden.’
      • ‘A friend send me some amazing pictures of 3D pavement drawings.’
      • ‘It was time for our actual wedding photographer to take pictures of us and various family members, so we just started doing that.’
      • ‘Many church members have photographic equipment to take pictures and shoot video.’
      • ‘The photographers want to take pictures of you and your mother together.’
      photograph, photo, shot, snap, snapshot, image, portrait, study
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    2. 1.2 A portrait.
      ‘have her picture painted’
      • ‘In fact, Goya was still painting pretty pictures of milkmaids and saucy profiles of his mistress.’
      • ‘This won't do," the wife thought, and she went to town to have her picture painted.’
      • ‘How could these critics of Raphael's unrealistic depictions of the world turn around and paint endless pictures of Ophelia?’
      • ‘It was not unusual to be called out of the shop, and see a fair lady who wanted her picture painted.’
      • ‘We've probably seen a picture or a portrait of them, or some depiction, which passes for a portrait.’
      • ‘He then moved to Nigeria, where he lived for nearly 25 years, working as a magistrate and a high court judge and painting pictures of people he met.’
    3. 1.3archaic A person or thing resembling another closely.
      ‘she is the very picture of her mother’
      • ‘"He's the picture of his old sire, Lazzarone," he continued, looking the horse over critically.’
      • ‘He's the picture of his father, he's a bonny young Irish boy.’
      • ‘She's the very picture of her. I saw it at once. When I first went into the room I could hardly believe my own eyes.’
      personification, embodiment, epitome, essence, perfect example, soul, model
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    4. 1.4 An impression of something formed from an account or description.
      ‘a full picture of the disaster had not yet emerged’
      • ‘The abiding problem is to do this but still to show that our often counter-intuitive beliefs are needed to provide the full picture.’
      • ‘It's going to take lots more research to get the full picture.’
      • ‘I've only tried to highlight broadly what the policy is about, but you need the company's literature to get the full picture.’
      • ‘The long-term picture is impressive in light of poor mechanisation levels in the country.’
      • ‘And it seems like the authors got some key leads but not enough to quite present the full picture.’
      • ‘The first is to present a fuller picture of himself, one that is more comfortable to the voter.’
      • ‘The full picture of how the government manipulated the legal justification for war, and political pressure placed on its most senior law officer, is revealed in the newspaper today.’
      • ‘It was a really great vision, but it was not the full picture.’
      • ‘But let us hear Socrates out, and get a view of the full picture, as he argues that it would be wrong for him to escape into exile.’
      • ‘The quick impression is of success, the full picture is of unbridled inadequacy.’
      • ‘Figures like this are exceptional in the extreme and give a completely unrepresentative impression of the national picture.’
      • ‘Having read a lot of your work, you still retain that power to create pictures without reams of description.’
      • ‘Be sure to get the full picture by reading the other segments.’
      • ‘But reports of battles do not present a full picture of the Republic.’
      • ‘Stuff happens, yes, but the news does not present a full picture of reality.’
      concept, idea, impression, mental picture, view, image, mental image, vision, visualization, notion, theory, abstraction
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    5. 1.5 An image on a television screen.
      • ‘And we stood there just transfixed, as we watched those first television pictures coming in.’
      • ‘Television news pictures bring viewers to the heart of an event and can deliver an understanding of it.’
      • ‘Around 40 local residents had to be evacuated and television pictures from the scene showed extensive damage to the building.’
      • ‘He ought to have been made aware of the seriousness of the assault and shown the television pictures before facing the press conference.’
      • ‘In television the picture stays pretty much the same no matter what size screen you are viewing on.’
      • ‘The resulting television pictures of hungry children in his arms shocked the conscience of the nation.’
      • ‘Television pictures showed the children, some as young as two, to be malnourished, neglected and living motionlessly in dirty cribs.’
      • ‘Just as yesterday, our televisions screens relayed pictures of running battles with police.’
      • ‘From television pictures, I note that his body was found in an open area a few feet away from a heavily wooded area.’
      • ‘Anna stood outside beside the exit door, and watched the rows of television screens displaying pictures of the roller coaster ride.’
      • ‘The television pictures on Tuesday were nothing short of awful.’
      • ‘Although the small size is attractive, the poor picture quality rules it out.’
      • ‘Live television pictures showed two large fires some 150 meters apart.’
      • ‘Television pictures speak for the themselves - but what happens when you can't show images of disaster, and have to rely on word images?’
      • ‘We have seen the television pictures of fishermen dumping dead monkfish, worth thousands of pounds, back into the sea.’
      • ‘Computers can be linked using a special modem, and television pictures can be sent and received.’
      • ‘He'd just run a story in which psychologists were talking about the impact television pictures of the war might be having on kids.’
      • ‘The television pictures showed a substantial amount of debris strewn by the lakeside where many trailers had been parked.’
      • ‘Television pictures showed a bull pinning a man to a wall.’
      • ‘Fog, frost and even poor television pictures are some of the main problems.’
    6. 1.6 A movie.
      ‘it took five honors, including best picture’
      • ‘The film won nine Oscars, including a Best Editing Oscar for Murch, and best picture.’
      • ‘Expect to see this movie nabbing the Oscar next year for best picture and best original song.’
      • ‘It is certainly rare to see a horror movie, like The Sixth Sense, up for best picture.’
      • ‘The picture doesn't include explicit nudity, but it's about as close as you can get.’
      • ‘But then the movie soon deteriorates into a sub - standard horror picture.’
      • ‘His love of those old movies is evident in every frame this picture.’
      • ‘The movies or pictures as they were called then were the only night out for the locals, many of whom were non-drinkers.’
      film, movie, feature film
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    7. 1.7the pictures The movies.
      ‘I'm going to the pictures with my buddies’
      • ‘As well as fasting, we had to give up certain luxuries as a Lenten sacrifice, giving up sweets was bad enough, but giving up going to the pictures was the worst punishment of all.’
      • ‘This was the start of going to the pictures with my Grandma.’
      • ‘Most of the time, however, I am just glad that going to the pictures has never lost its magic for me.’
      • ‘Even if you weren't going to the pictures, it was impossible not to notice how many people were waiting outside most of the cinemas for the film to start.’
      • ‘As a teenager, going to the pictures was the thing that everyone did.’
      the cinema, the movies, the silver screen, the big screen
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verb

[with object]
  • 1Represent (someone or something) in a photograph or picture.

    ‘he is pictured with party guests’
    • ‘It has proved useful in studying and picturing mountains, skies, rainfall, coastal lines, artificial scenery, and designs and patterns through computers.’
    • ‘The competition question was: can you guess what is pictured in the photo below?’
    • ‘"Also pictured in the photo is an object from the collection of the Genesee Country Museum.’
    • ‘In one scene, two homeless men are filmed fighting in a public toilet while another is pictured pulling out his own teeth with pliers.’
    • ‘The boreal forest also includes dry northern forest, as pictured on pages 28 and 30.’
    • ‘The most welcome sighting was our first Chipping Sparrow of the year, pictured to the right.’
    • ‘Forget the people you see in front of the camera or pictured on a CD cover.’
    • ‘The information is disgusting and false, " said Jack, who was pictured wearing a bright blue shirt.’
    • ‘The poem begins along the right edge of a rice paper sheet next to a vertical strip of black and white photographs picturing Cha obscuring her face with her hands.’
    • ‘Not pictured here, but are included, is the shoulder strap.’
    • ‘She is pictured in front of the centre with her daughter Adelle.’
    • ‘In particular he spots a photo strip picturing his son with this man and presumes from this photographic evidence that the man is his son's murderer.’
    • ‘A calendar picturing semi-naked men, shot in aid of a village school, has caused uproar after proving too hot to handle.’
    • ‘He is pictured here wearing his second pair of hiking boots.’
    • ‘He is pictured at the party with former employees.’
    • ‘Though they aren't pictured here, they placed highly in tastings.’
    • ‘The lanes pictured are representative of at least six independent samples.’
    • ‘Large timbers were used to frame many of the beds pictured on these pages.’
    • ‘He also shot images of girls walking home and a 10-year-old girl was pictured rollerblading after he hid behind a wall to film her.’
    • ‘The design, however, would be different from that pictured in this article.’
    photograph, get a photo of, get a photograph of, take a photo of, take a photograph of, take someone's photo, take someone's picture, get a picture of, take a picture of, get a snap of, get a snapshot of, take a snap of, take a snapshot of, take, snap, shoot, get a shot of, take a shot of
    paint, draw, paint a picture of, sketch, depict, delineate, portray, catch, catch a likeness of, show, illustrate, reproduce, render, represent
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    1. 1.1 Describe (someone or something) in a certain way.
      ‘the markets in London and New York are usually pictured in contrasting terms’
      • ‘It is usually pictured in the form of an elk, less often as a bear.’
      • ‘Now they may be willing to listen to quite a lot of descriptive talk about the objects and events pictured in the books.’
      • ‘In the film, he's pictured as an often-hard man driven mostly by the painful realities of black culture.’
      • ‘Following the lead of one Thomas Aquinas, it was thought that the unicorn probably had attributes of both: thus he was pictured as being a goat with a horse's head, or having cleft hooves before and solid hooves behind.’
      • ‘As far as this cryptic description goes, it pictures things perfectly.’
      • ‘He was pictured as a leopard skin-clad dwarf with a huge head, prominent eyes and cheeks, a curly beard and an open mouth with his tongue sticking out.’
      • ‘After the failed sacrifice, he was pictured as too weak to fight.’
      • ‘He shoots sympathetically, an arresting contrast with the extreme situations pictured.’
      • ‘Bacchus in early likenesses was a bearded man, but later he was pictured as a youth.’
      • ‘He was pictured as black and green, the colors of Nile mud and vegetation.’
      • ‘She was pictured as a woman arched on her toes and fingertips over the earth - her body, a star-filled sky.’
      • ‘In other words, people are pictured as valuing goods in terms of the bundles of attributes which these possess.’
      • ‘The Tree was pictured as having seven roots reaching down into the earth and seven branches extending up toward the heavens, thus symbolizing man's relationship to both earth and heaven.’
      • ‘I see you're trying to picture this in terms of a cinematic story that can be told on a screen.’
      • ‘It is therefore imperative that your staff members know how they are being described and pictured.’
    2. 1.2 Form a mental image of.
      ‘she pictured Benjamin waiting’
      • ‘Before every party, I pictured a scene of me talking, me being heard.’
      • ‘I could just picture her face on the other line.’
      • ‘I defy you to picture the scene without making the obvious mental leap.’
      • ‘The stone edge of the quay is still to be seen, and it doesn't take a huge leap of imagination to picture it as it was a century ago.’
      • ‘Try to picture a Christmas party in which NOBODY gets stupidly drunk.’
      • ‘In my mind's eye I could picture him standing at our bedroom door.’
      • ‘Why not picture yourself in a film and step onto a few of these famous sets?’
      • ‘I sit there silently for a moment, picturing this.’
      • ‘My imagination won't let me picture Marilyn older than her 36 years.’
      • ‘Then picture him waiting by the window to greet you every morning as you get to work.’
      • ‘Generally speaking, one doesn't really picture film directors as an adventurous lot.’
      • ‘Selina, even with her wild imagination, never pictured her parents lives to be so dramatic in the beginning.’
      • ‘I can almost picture her face reddening and her eyes narrowing.’
      • ‘When I was a student, I'd look at old photographs, and try to picture the scenes behind them.’
      • ‘Perhaps the best way to illustrate how much money this tax cut represents is to picture it as a stack of bills.’
      • ‘I always pictured myself working at some high-class clothing store but never a diner.’
      • ‘She could almost picture the innocent smile plastered on her best friend's face.’
      • ‘For a split second he could see the tree that he had pictured in his mind.’
      • ‘It means having the imagination to picture the world through the eyes of an 18-year-old.’
      • ‘Every time I close my eyes I keep picturing him.’
      visualize, see in one's mind, see in one's mind's eye, conjure up a picture of, conjure up an image of, imagine, conceive, call to mind, image, see, evoke
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Phrases

  • be in pictures

    • Act in movies or work in the motion-picture industry.

      • ‘They say that he's exactly the same now as when he was in radio, which I believe, because he's exactly the same now as when he was in pictures.’
      • ‘Like a lot of youngsters, John decided early on that he wanted to be in pictures.’
      • ‘Soon we had two camps in our class: those who wanted to be New York actors and those who wanted to be in pictures.’
      • ‘If you or your child ever wanted to be in pictures -- this is your chance!’
      • ‘Lottie says, ‘Ten years I've been in pictures and hope to be always in some way or other ’.’
  • be (or look) a picture

    • Be very pleasing to look at.

      • ‘The stadiums were ready, the security teams were all in place and Athens was looking a picture.’
      • ‘She heard Jingle Bells on the radio and when she looked up her face was a picture as she realised what she was listening to.’
      • ‘Maureen looked a picture when she found she got an A-level grade B in photography.’
      • ‘The opening chance of the match arrived after all of 18 minutes and it has to be said that the Park surface looked a picture under the glorious sunshine, which shone throughout the game.’
      • ‘Yesterday it looked a picture, a different place from the self-conscious, windswept venue of the opening days.’
      • ‘The town looks a picture at the moment as you are aware, but there is a substantial cost involved in making all this possible.’
      • ‘The Stadium looks a picture at the moment - the best I have seen it to date.’
      • ‘My girls looked a picture as flower girls and performed their roles with aplomb.’
      • ‘Isn't the course looking a picture with the recent rain and watering making it a great joy playing on a golf course that within 12 months will be back to one of the best, with tees and greens to be completed mid-December?’
      • ‘Nora looked a picture in her red suit and gave a wonderful performance - except it wasn't a performance - it was pure natural Nora, and everyone loved it.’
      • ‘The pitch looked a picture, covered by the light dew from the night before.’
  • the big (or bigger or larger) picture

    • informal The situation as a whole.

      ‘he's so involved in the minutiae that he often overlooks the big picture’
      • ‘He loves such words, toying with them, searching out their roots, using them to illustrate the big picture.’
      • ‘Because of the way institutions work, an engineer ends up working on one part of a system but doesn't get to stand back and see the big picture.’
      • ‘Their world belongs to the big picture, but even this view can often be clouded by the irritating inconvenience of detail.’
      • ‘You're so entangled in it, and so concerned about the details of your current situation, that you miss the big picture.’
      • ‘Decency paves the way, full of home sweet values which too often are overlooked in the big picture.’
      • ‘He sees the big picture of the whole industry, and that generates a lot of respect.’
      • ‘These, of course, are two very different areas of the big picture.’
      • ‘Nolan has good reason to be excited but he is doing his best not to let the big game divert attention from the big picture.’
      • ‘If it had been all lovely I might have left with an inability to see the big picture and would missed those pieces I really did enjoy.’
      • ‘Happily glide from the big picture to the detail and back again.’
  • get the picture

    • informal Understand a situation.

      • ‘To be honest, I believe it was more difficult to get the picture than to catch the carp.’
      • ‘How long do you think it will be before he gets the picture that I want him to go away!’
      • ‘If this description inspires thoughts of a huge moon and bright stars, or warm sunrays of yellow and orange, then you are getting the picture.’
      • ‘And although the ads continue to be pervasive, she also said that some agencies are getting the picture.’
      • ‘Think of the mob with flaming torches in the Frankenstein movie making their way up the mountain to the castle and you've got the picture.’
      • ‘I realize that sounds completely revolting, but I think you get the picture.’
      • ‘I think you're probably getting the picture here.’
      • ‘We're undoubtedly not getting the picture as full as it should be.’
      • ‘This includes, buses, trains, lifts, public buildings, pubs, restaurants; I think you have probably got the picture.’
      • ‘Scott didn't seem to get the picture, his brain still working on understanding what Jesse had just told him.’
      understand the situation, work out what's going on, see the light, see daylight, get the point
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  • in the picture

    • Fully informed about something.

      • ‘Blogging fills in the picture of which only a small part is reported by journalists.’
      • ‘I am indebted to a good friend for making sure I am kept in the picture.’
      • ‘He was put in the picture by the amused elderly ladies who gossip every evening in the entrance hall of the block.’
      • ‘He will also be asking Smith to meet with the players this week to put them in the picture about what will happen over the coming weeks.’
      • ‘So if you have a mobile phone you can put it to good use by putting these individuals in the picture.’
      • ‘And as soon as the starting pistol was fired readers raced to the telephone and email to put me in the picture.’
      • ‘We just want him to keep us in the picture with what's happening and what kind of deal he's after.’
      • ‘I well remember my first day at senior school, your mates put you in the picture.’
      • ‘Lee also demonstrates the tying of new patterns so that we are kept fully in the picture.’
      • ‘Although I was proud of my parents, I needed some separation from them and to put myself in the picture.’
      inform, fill in, give details to, explain the situation to, give information to, explain the circumstances to, describe the state of affairs to, bring up to date, update, brief, keep posted
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  • out of the picture

    • No longer involved; irrelevant.

      ‘hostages were better left out of the picture’
      • ‘His team had been out of the picture in the first half with Hearts dominating possession and carving the vast majority of chances.’
      • ‘I was out of the picture and they were certainly looking to offload.’
      • ‘I told him basically, if he was seeing somebody else, that I was out of the picture.’
      • ‘This pattern of politics leaves people who don't fit into either category completely out of the picture.’
      • ‘However, he quickly found that he was not achieving results and that the future was in danger of arriving with him out of the picture.’
      • ‘But when you take the operations chief out of the picture, it does pose a lot of problems.’
      • ‘That's me and, I imagine, a few million others, well out of the picture.’
      • ‘Well all of that is true, and so most writers trying to convince other people of something tend to leave themselves out of the picture.’
      • ‘We'd need him out of the picture to release the surplus for spending.’
      • ‘However they had two players sent off and faded out of the picture in the second half - even failing to get a single score.’
  • (as) pretty as a picture

    • Very pretty.

      • ‘She looked pretty as a picture herself out here in the sunshine - a ravishing rose amongst a garden of gorgeous roses.’
      • ‘I'll bet if we saw the technical crew, or even the people at the craft services table, they'd also be pretty as a picture.’
      • ‘I walked over to him, pretty as a picture, meek as a mouse.’
      • ‘The resulting spring tabletop is as pretty as a picture.’
      • ‘He doesn't put Austen on a pedestal and he doesn't make a film that is pretty as a picture but lacking in any sense of vitality.’
      • ‘She was as pretty as a picture - not beautiful, not stark raving mad like me, just pretty.’
      • ‘‘She looks pretty as a picture, I think,’ my mother said genuinely and definitively.’
      • ‘She was a little bit on the cuddly side, but pretty as a picture.’
      • ‘The world really is as pretty as a picture for the professor, who has recreated the great photographic journeys of the Victorian Age.’
      • ‘It was all as pretty as a picture and just a little too good to be true.’
      good-looking, attractive, nice-looking, handsome, lovely, beautiful, pretty, as pretty as a picture, stunning, striking, arresting, prepossessing, winning, fetching, captivating, bewitching, beguiling, engaging, charming, charismatic, enchanting, appealing, delightful, irresistible
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  • the (or a) picture of —

    • The embodiment of a specified state or emotion.

      ‘she looked the picture of forbearance’
      • ‘This young footballer is the picture of health as he helps make a charity soccer tournament a success.’
      • ‘Apart from that, she was a picture of dignity and grace, with the kind of beauty that grew resplendent with age.’
      • ‘He strode into the surgery briskly with no obvious breathlessness; he looked the picture of health.’
      • ‘The dancers were a picture of grace, leaping with ease and elegance.’
      • ‘Her face was a picture of concentration and she bit gently on her bottom lip.’
      • ‘The youngster looks a picture of health as she chatters away happily like any normal one-year-old, with a cheeky grin guaranteed to melt your heart.’
      • ‘In those cruel, almost harrowing, final few moments, the Celtic manager was a picture of helplessness.’
      • ‘I sat in the corner of the kitchen, sipping carefully, the picture of misery.’
      • ‘He was a dour and industrious man who inspired confidence and was the picture of respectability.’
      • ‘Dolly sat fully erect, tasting the air, the picture of feline contentment.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin pictura, from pict- ‘painted’ (from the verb pingere).

Pronunciation

picture

/ˈpɪk(t)ʃər//ˈpik(t)SHər/