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


Alternative forms[edit]

  • pictoral (uncommon, possibly nonstandard)


Latin pictōrius (of painting), from pictor (painter).



pictorial (not comparable)

  1. Of, relating to, composed of, or illustrated by pictures.
  2. Described or otherwise represented as if in a picture; graphic or vivid.
    • 2012 March 1, Brian Hayes, “Pixels or Perish”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 2, page 106:
      Drawings and pictures are more than mere ornaments in scientific discourse. Blackboard sketches, geological maps, diagrams of molecular structure, astronomical photographs, MRI images, the many varieties of statistical charts and graphs: These pictorial devices are indispensable tools for presenting evidence, for explaining a theory, for telling a story.
  3. Stylistically similar to a painting, especially following pictorial conventions (of a photograph) – see pictorialism.

Usage notes[edit]

Can be used comparatively “Could you give a more pictorial treatment of this subject?” but this usage is uncommon.

Derived terms[edit]



pictorial (plural pictorials)

  1. a newspaper or magazine with many pictures, or section thereof
  2. an article primarily featuring many photographs, or simply a collection of photographs
  3. (philately) a stamp featuring a vignette of local scenery or culture.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Individual titles will be capitalized e.g. "Sunday Pictorial"
  • In sense “an article consisting primarily of photographs”, particularly used of photographs of people, as in “The budding starlet is featured in a pictorial in a glossy magazine next week.”

Coordinate terms[edit]