Definition of picture noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    picture

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ˈpɪktʃə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɪktʃər//
     
    Watching TV
     
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    painting/drawing
  1. 1  [countable] a painting or drawing, etc. that shows a scene, a person or thing A picture of flowers hung on the wall. The children were drawing pictures of their pets. She wanted a famous artist to paint her picture (= a picture of herself). a book with lots of pictures in it Synonymspicture painting drawing portrait print sketchThese are all words for a scene, person or thing that has been represented on paper by drawing, painting, etc.picture a scene, person or thing that has been represented on paper using a pencil, a pen or paint:The children were drawing pictures of their pets.painting a picture that has been made using paint:a collection of paintings by American artistsdrawing a picture that has been made using a pencil or pen, not paint:a pencil/​charcoal drawingportrait a painting, drawing or photograph of a person, especially of the head and shoulders:Vermeer’s ‘Portrait of the artist in his studio’ a self-portrait (= a painting that you do of yourself)print a picture that has been copied from a painting using photography:a Renoir printsketch a simple picture that is drawn quickly and does not have many details:I usually do a few very rough sketches before I start on a painting.Patterns to draw a picture/​portrait/​sketch to paint a picture/​portrait to make a painting/​drawing/​portrait/​print/​sketch to do a painting/​drawing/​portrait/​sketch
  2. photograph
  3. 2  [countable] a photograph We had our picture taken in front of the hotel. The picture shows the couple together on their yacht. Have you got any pictures of your trip? Synonymsphotograph picture photo shot snapshot/​snap printThese are all words for a picture that has been made using a camera.photograph a picture that has been made using a camera:a photograph of the house Can I take a photograph?picture a photograph:We had our picture taken in front of the hotel.photo a photograph:a passport photophotograph, picture or photo?Photograph is slightly more formal and photo is slightly less formal. Picture is used especially in the context of photographs in newspapers, magazines and books.shot a photograph:I tried to get a shot of him in the water. Shot often places more emphasis on the process of taking the photograph, rather than the finished picture.snapshot/​snap an informal photograph that is taken quickly, and not by a professional photographer:holiday snapsprint a copy of a photograph that is produced from film or from a digital camera:a set of printsPatterns a colour photograph/​picture/​photo/​snap/​print to take a photograph/​picture/​photo/​shot/​snapshot Express YourselfDescribing a pictureIn some exams, you have to describe what you see in a picture or photograph. Here are some useful phrases: The picture shows a family gathered around a kitchen table. This is a picture/​photo of a busy city street. In the foreground/​background, we can see a group of protesters. In the bottom right-hand corner/​top left-hand corner, there's a child sitting alone. On the left/​on the right/​in the middle, someone is standing with a bottle in his hand. In the cartoon, we can see two people looking at a newspaper headline. The cartoonist has drawn the man to represent a typical businessman.
  4. on TV
  5. 3  [countable] an image on a television screen harrowing television pictures of the famine satellite pictures The picture isn't very clear tonight. See related entries: Watching TV
  6. description
  7. 4  [countable, usually singular] a description that gives you an idea in your mind of what something is like The writer paints a gloomy picture of the economy. The police are trying to build up a picture of what happened. From newspaper reports a picture emerges of a country barely under control. The TV report painted a much rosier picture of the employment situation than research shows to be the case.
  8. mental image
  9. 5  [countable, usually singular] a mental image or memory of something I have a vivid picture of my grandfather smiling down at me when I was very small.
  10. general situation
  11. 6the picture [singular] the general situation concerning somebody/something Just a few years ago the picture was very different. The overall picture for farming is encouraging.
  12. movies
  13. 7[countable] a film/movie The movie won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. (especially North American English) I believe her husband's in pictures (= he acts in movies or works in the movie industry). see also motion picture
  14. 8the pictures [plural] (old-fashioned, informal) the cinema/the movies Shall we go to the pictures tonight?
  15. Word Origin late Middle English: from Latin pictura, from pict- ‘painted’ (from the verb pingere).Extra examples He didn’t paint a very pretty picture of city life. I believe her husband’s in pictures= he acts in movies or works in the industry. I can’t see you in the picture. I got some good pictures of the procession. I tried to form a mental picture of the building being described. It’s a picture of a country village. It’s a picture of the Grand Canyon. My visits enabled me to build up a broad picture of the culture. The book gives a vivid picture of life in Victorian England. The book has simple stories and pictures to colour in. The documentary didn’t give the full picture. The figures reveal a disturbing picture of the state of our schools. The programme was interesting but it didn’t give the full picture. The report paints a dismal picture of the government’s economic record. The smell of the sea conjures up pictures of children playing on the beach. The smell of the sea conjures up pictures of my youth. The story is told in pictures. They’re trying to build up a detailed picture of the incident. Through interviews and old photos we put together a composite picture of life in the village a hundred years ago. What emerges is a complex picture of family rivalry. a composite picture of life a hundred years ago a major motion picture starring Brent Everett the award for best picture From newspaper reports a picture emerges of a country barely under control. He likes books with lots of pictures in them. His picture appeared in the local paper. I believe her husband’s in pictures. I had a sudden and chilling mental picture of him being interrogated in one of their prisons. She got a famous artist to paint her picture. She had formed a picture of what the place would look like and was very disappointed. The TV report painted a much rosier picture of the employment situation than research shows to be the case. The police are trying to build up a picture of what happened. This picture shows the man with his family.Idioms (old-fashioned) very pretty She’s as pretty as a picture. More Like ThisSimiles in idioms (as) bald as a coot, (as) blind as a bat, (as) bright as a button, (as) bold as brass, as busy as a bee, as clean as a whistle, (as) dead as a/​the dodo, (as) deaf as a post, (as) dull as ditchwater, (as) fit as a fiddle, as flat as a pancake, (as) good as gold, (as) mad as a hatter/​a March hare, (as) miserable/​ugly as sin, as old as the hills, (as) pleased as Punch, as pretty as a picture, (as) regular as clockwork, (as) quick as a flash, (as) safe as houses, (as) sound as a bell, (as) steady as a rock, (as) thick as two short planks, (as) tough as old bootsSee worksheet. to look very beautiful or special The garden looks a picture in the summer.
    be the picture of health, guilt, misery, etc.
     
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    (informal) to look extremely healthy, guilty, unhappy, etc.
    (informal) the situation as a whole Right now forget the details and take a look at the big picture. (informal) to understand a situation, especially one that somebody is describing to you ‘I pretended that I hadn't heard.’ ‘I get the picture.’ (informal) involved/not involved in a situation Morris is likely to win, with Jones out of the picture now.
    paint a (grim, gloomy, rosy, etc.) picture of somebody/something
     
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    to describe somebody/something in a particular way; to give a particular impression of somebody/something The report paints a vivid picture of life in the city. Journalists paint a grim picture of conditions in the camps.
    put/keep somebody in the picture
     
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    (informal) to give somebody the information they need in order to understand a situation Just to put you in the picture—there have been a number of changes here recently.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: picture