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[graf-ik] /ˈgræf ɪk/
adjective, Also, graphical
giving a clear and effective picture; vivid:
a graphic account of an earthquake.
pertaining to the use of diagrams, graphs, mathematical curves, or the like; diagrammatic.
of, relating to, or expressed by writing:
graphic symbols.
written, inscribed, or drawn.
depicted in a realistic or vivid manner:
graphic sex and violence.
containing graphic descriptions:
a graphic movie.
Geology. (of a rock) having a texture formed by the intergrowth of certain minerals so as to resemble written characters.
Mathematics. pertaining to the determination of values, solution of problems, etc., by direct measurement on diagrams instead of by ordinary calculations.
of or relating to the graphic arts.
a product of the graphic arts, as a drawing or print.
a computer-generated image.
Origin of graphic
1630-40; < Latin graphicus of painting or drawing < Greek graphikós able to draw or paint, equivalent to gráph(ein) to draw, write + -ikos -ic; cognate with carve
Related forms
graphically, adverb
graphicalness, graphicness, noun
nongraphic, adjective
nongraphical, adjective
nongraphically, adverb
nongraphicalness, noun
ungraphic, adjective
ungraphical, adjective
ungraphically, adverb
1. striking, telling; detailed. See picturesque.


a combination of -graph and -ic, forming adjectives corresponding to nouns ending in -graph:
telegraphic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for graphic
  • The grand jury indictment is graphic and troubling in its scope and detail.
  • In terms of conveying information, this is not an effective graphic.
  • graphic organizers are useful tools for building knowledge and organizing information.
  • So be advised, some of the images are graphic depictions of medical conditions.
  • Click on the graphic to see what you can expect from climate change.
  • Simple to make and surprisingly durable, painted canvas used as a floor mat adds graphic punch to a room.
  • Don't click through this graphic video if you're at work.
  • Due to graphic content, parental discretion is advised.
  • It cries loudly, moans, and sheds graphic little tears.
  • After all, rebelliousness can be the stuff of creativity in filmmaking, graphic art and design.
British Dictionary definitions for graphic


vividly or clearly described: a graphic account of the disaster
sexually explicit
of or relating to writing or other inscribed representations: graphic symbols
(maths) using, relating to, or determined by a graph: a graphic representation of the figures
of or relating to the graphic arts
(geology) having or denoting a texture formed by intergrowth of the crystals to resemble writing: graphic granite
Derived Forms
graphically, graphicly, adverb
graphicalness, graphicness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin graphicus, from Greek graphikos, from graphein to write; see carve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for graphic

"vivid," 1570s (implied in graphically), from Latin graphicus "picturesque," from Greek graphikos "of or for writing, belonging to drawing, picturesque," from graphe "writing, drawing," from graphein "to write" (see -graphy). Meaning "of or pertaining to drawing" is from 1756. Related: Graphically. Graphic design is attested by 1956. Graphic equalizer is from 1969.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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