a picture paints a thousand words

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Reportedly first used by Frederick R. Barnard in Printer's Ink (December, 1921), while commenting that graphics can tell a story as effectively as a large amount of descriptive text.[1]


a picture paints a thousand words

  1. Alternative form of a picture is worth a thousand words
    • 1971, David Gates (of Bread), If, from Manna album:
      If a picture paints a thousand words
      Then why can't I paint you;
      The words will never show
      The you I've come to know.
    • 1989, Alan Kay, quoted in Kʻo-tung Huang, Timothy D. Huang, Introduction to Chinese, Japanese and Korean Computing, World Scientific, →ISBN, p. 9:
      Most human beings, no matter how familiar they are with abstract symbols, respond to voice and images better than written language. In other words, A picture paints a thousand words.
    • 2006, Paul Shakespeare, Building a Dune Buggy: The Essential Manual[1], →ISBN, page 52:
      See accompanying diagram: a picture paints a thousand words, and all that!