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[im-ij] /ˈɪm ɪdʒ/
a physical likeness or representation of a person, animal, or thing, photographed, painted, sculptured, or otherwise made visible.
an optical counterpart or appearance of an object, as is produced by reflection from a mirror, refraction by a lens, or the passage of luminous rays through a small aperture and their reception on a surface.
a mental representation; idea; conception.
Psychology. a mental representation of something previously perceived, in the absence of the original stimulus.
form; appearance; semblance:
We are all created in God's image.
counterpart; copy:
That child is the image of his mother.
a symbol; emblem.
the general or public perception of a company, public figure, etc., especially as achieved by careful calculation aimed at creating widespread goodwill.
a type; embodiment:
Red-faced and angry, he was the image of frustration.
a description of something in speech or writing:
Keats created some of the most beautiful images in the language.
Rhetoric. a figure of speech, especially a metaphor or a simile.
an idol or representation of a deity:
They knelt down before graven images.
Mathematics. the point or set of points in the range corresponding to a designated point in the domain of a given function.
Archaic. an illusion or apparition.
verb (used with object), imaged, imaging.
to picture or represent in the mind; imagine; conceive.
to make an image of; portray in sculpture, painting, etc.
to project (photographs, film, etc.) on a surface:
Familiar scenes were imaged on the screen.
to reflect the likeness of; mirror.
to set forth in speech or writing; describe.
to symbolize; typify.
to resemble.
Informal. to create an image for (a company, public figure, etc.):
The candidate had to be imaged before being put on the campaign trail.
to transform (data) into an exact replica in a different form, as changing digital data to pixels for display on a CRT or representing a medical scan of a body part in digital form.
Origin of image
1175-1225; (noun) Middle English < Old French image, imagene (-ene apparently construed as suffix) < Latin imāgin-, stem of imāgō a copy, likeness, equivalent to im- (cf. imitate) + -āgō noun suffix; (v.) Middle English: to form a mental picture < Old French imagier, derivative of image
Related forms
imageable, adjective
imager, noun
preimage, noun
reimage, verb (used with object), reimaged, reimaging.
unimaged, adjective
1, 12. Image, icon, idol refer to material representations of persons or things. An image is a representation as in a statue or effigy, and is sometimes regarded as an object of worship: to set up an image of Apollo; an image of a saint. An icon, in the Greek or Eastern Orthodox Church, is a representation of Christ, an angel, or a saint, in painting, relief, mosaic, or the like: At least two icons are found in each church. An idol is an image, statue, or the like representing a deity and worshiped as such: a wooden idol; The heathen worship idols. It may be used figuratively: to make an idol of wealth. 2. likeness, figure, representation. 3. notion. 6. facsimile.
6. original. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for images
  • They were quickly revered as images of superb technical and artistic quality.
  • The striking contrast of their images on the television screen made all the difference.
  • So many of her images have a raw unscripted quality to them which rivets my attention.
  • Prehistoric humans painted images of the animals on cave walls and carved their likeness in fragments of mammoth tusk.
  • In response to the furor, artists began to avoid forbidden images or conceal them under dotting, stippling and cross-hatches.
  • They work by sending out pulses of high-frequency sound and then interpreting the reflections as images.
  • Some machines, complete with the screens on which the images are shown, are now no bigger than a mobile phone.
  • Most adults find this extremely difficult, but new evidence suggests that recognising mirror images comes naturally to children.
  • These images are monitored by a digital camera positioned behind the diffuser.
  • These images lose none of their poignancy or power in this familiarity.
British Dictionary definitions for images


a representation or likeness of a person or thing, esp in sculpture
an optically formed reproduction of an object, such as one formed by a lens or mirror
a person or thing that resembles another closely; double or copy
a mental representation or picture; idea produced by the imagination
the personality presented to the public by a person, organization, etc: a criminal charge is not good for a politician's image See also corporate image
the pattern of light that is focused on to the retina of the eye
(psychol) the mental experience of something that is not immediately present to the senses, often involving memory See also imagery, body image, hypnagogic image
a personification of a specified quality; epitome: the image of good breeding
a mental picture or association of ideas evoked in a literary work, esp in poetry
a figure of speech, such as a simile or metaphor
  1. (of a point) the value of a function, f(x), corresponding to the point x
  2. the range of a function
an obsolete word for apparition
verb (transitive)
to picture in the mind; imagine
to make or reflect an image of
(computing) to project or display on a screen or visual display unit
to portray or describe
to be an example or epitome of; typify
Derived Forms
imageable, adjective
imageless, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French imagene, from Latin imāgō copy, representation; related to Latin imitārī to imitate
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 images



c.1200, "piece of statuary; artificial representation that looks like a person or thing," from Old French image "image, likeness; figure, drawing, portrait; reflection; statue," earlier imagene (11c.), from Latin imaginem (nominative imago) "copy, statue, picture," figuratively "idea, appearance," from stem of imitari "to copy, imitate" (see imitation).

Meaning "reflection in a mirror" is early 14c. The mental sense was in Latin, and appears in English late 14c. Sense of "public impression" is attested in isolated cases from 1908 but not in common use until its rise in the jargon of advertising and public relations, c.1958.


late 14c., "to form a mental picture," from Old French imagier, from image (see image (n.)). Related: Imaged; imaging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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images in Medicine

image im·age (ĭm'ĭj)

  1. An optically formed duplicate or other representative reproduction of an object, especially an optical reproduction of an object formed by a lens or mirror.

  2. A mental picture of something not real or present.

  3. An exact copy of data in a computer file transferred to another medium.

v. im·aged, im·ag·ing, im·ag·es
  1. To make or produce a likeness of.

  2. To picture something mentally; imagine.

  3. To translate photographs or other pictures by computer into numbers that can be transmitted to a remote location and then reconverted into pictures by another computer.

  4. To visualize something, as by magnetic resonance imaging.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Related Abbreviations for images


Integrated Molecular Analysis of Genomes and their Expression
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with images


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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