Definition of pixelate in US English:


(also pixilate, pixellate)


[with object]
  • 1Divide (an image) into pixels, typically for display or storage in a digital format.

    • ‘It's hard to imagine that video game designers didn't have her in mind when they pixelated her.’
    • ‘Now that we've pixelated the image, there's a few different things we can do with it, and we'll look at them next.’
    • ‘Especially jarring are the pixelated JPEG graphics that are used throughout as illustrations.’
    • ‘The surreal nature of the story is amplified by the fact that the raccoon is an actor in a fur hat and makeup, the father is played by a woman and the characters' movements are pixilated through frame-by-frame animation.’
    • ‘Even the black-and-white pictures, which ought to be very comfortable at 256 shades of grey, are grainy and often pixelated in ways that are clearly not the result of the fuzziness of the originals.’
    1. 1.1be pixelated (of an image on a computer screen or other display) be enlarged so far that the viewer sees the individual pixels that form the image, the enlargement having reached the point at which no further detail can be resolved.
      • ‘After seeing the open sequence a few times, one of the fog effects begins to stand out as being especially pixelated, but it is more likely that this is a result of the original animation than any effect of transferring the program to DVD.’
      • ‘Scenery is blocky and pixilated; cars are polygonal and carelessly drawn.’
      • ‘There are reproductions of artists work including pieces by Morton and Piccinini that are grey and washed out and in the case of the Piccinini, badly pixilated as well.’
      • ‘The texture mapping close up is quite pixelated but there are wall paintings, statues etc.’
      • ‘I downloaded the Real Media Player, and the video was sort of like TV, only tiny, pixilated, and endlessly buffering, buffering.’
      • ‘The image gets pixelated and chopped up on closer examination, and some anti-aliasing occurs now and again.’
      • ‘I think the lighting effects are pretty good and the characters are nicely done, but the backgrounds are pixilated.’
      • ‘Except for the first long shots at least, which were so badly pixelated I feared the transfer might be among the worst I'd ever seen.’
      • ‘It was pixelated, washed out, the picture looked flat, dark scenes were excessively noisy (and just about the entire movie was dark scenes), and the print had perpetual dirt and scratches.’
      • ‘They're fairly pixilated, even at resolutions of 1280x1024.’
      • ‘I tried to sit close to the set, but at close range each miniscreen is so pixilated as to be almost unwatchable.’
      • ‘There is a lot of narration here, mostly over a series of terribly formatted photo collages that are grainy, pixilated, and reproduced from other sources.’
      • ‘The particle effects were even more pixelated than the other, but for this one, it suited.’
      • ‘Almost all instances of crowd footage are grainy, unclean, and somewhat pixilated.’
    2. 1.2 Display an image of (someone or something) on television as a small number of large pixels, typically in order to disguise someone's identity.
      • ‘Reflecting on the large-grain, pixelated images of the various motorists, Nerf says: ‘Maybe there is certain amount of honesty shown in terms of how people react to the alcohol.’’
      • ‘But the one picture where we have an opportunity to see what these children saw - keeping in mind that it was their parents - is pixelated.’
      • ‘While the images of the corpses themselves were pixellated, there was no blurring of the national sense of shock.’
      • ‘Same with the U.S. Capitol and the Vice-President's residence - only they're pixelated out of focus.’
      • ‘The masterpiece of aggression, though slightly pixilated (censored for those of you unfamiliar) since it wasn't cable or satellite.’
      • ‘The faces of others in the doorway were pixelated so as not to reveal their identity.’
      • ‘This seems especially bizarre when I heard another report that a man's bare torso was pixelated on the American news networks so as to ensure that no viewers would be offended.’
      • ‘What we should also tell our viewers, they may have noticed during that video we pixilated, blurred, if you will, the name tags of these Marines.’
      • ‘‘Defense requests media organizations ‘pixilate’ the faces of both coalition and Iraqi prisoners of war,’ the statement said, to ensure Australia ‘meets its obligations under the conventions.’’
      • ‘(There's no need to worry your grandparents - the offending area was pixellated, being one of the few things that is still not allowed to be shown under the censor's rules).’
      • ‘Careful observers will note that the area between Miss Chung's legs was felt to be too revealing of certain secrets, and was therefore pixellated by right-minded Xinhua editors to avoid causing social upheaval.’
      • ‘Well, you know, looking at how many times I saw those protesters, with certain parts pixellated on CNN, something tells me it's got a certain box office appeal.’
      • ‘The resulting stills were then splashed all over the front of the Screws of the World with all the naughty bits artfully pixelated out.’
      • ‘His face is pixilated as he talks about the depths to which he and his friends must go to get money to score.’
      • ‘But I think ABC News, at least, took great care to pixilate the picture so you couldn't see the bodies.’
      • ‘He pixelates not only the nudity covered in the rules but also gore moments and some shots that I could find no potentially offensive elements in at all.’
      • ‘Her face is pixellated out, and she isn't ‘nude,’ basically because of the way she is being attacked.’
      • ‘Sometimes the producers went to absurd lengths to protect their advertisers and product placers, pixelating one of the inmates T-shirts to cover up a rival furniture product.’
      • ‘When it showed more prisoners, the Australian Defence Department said that its failure to pixelate the faces of captives was an infringement of the Geneva Conventions.’
      • ‘Many moments of anti-aliasing cause the outlines to pixelate.’