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[foh-tuh-jen-ik] /ˌfoʊ təˈdʒɛn ɪk/
forming an attractive subject for photography or having features that look well in a photograph:
a photogenic face.
Biology. producing or emitting light, as certain bacteria; luminiferous; phosphorescent.
Medicine/Medical. produced or caused by light, as a skin condition.
Origin of photogenic
1830-40; photo- + -genic
Related forms
photogenically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for photogenic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We see then, that air (oxygen), water, and some photogenic substance are necessary for the light production.

    The Nature of Animal Light E. Newton Harvey
  • Each group of photogenic cells is surrounded by a clear ectoplasm containing no granules.

    The Nature of Animal Light E. Newton Harvey
  • Enthusiastic over his progress in natural philosophy, he happens to speak of his photogenic studies.

    Mysterious Psychic Forces Camille Flammarion
  • It is difficult to determine if the nerves supply the tracheal end cells or the photogenic cells.

    The Nature of Animal Light E. Newton Harvey
  • The photogenic cells contain a mass of granules, spherical in the male and short rods in the female.

    The Nature of Animal Light E. Newton Harvey
British Dictionary definitions for photogenic


(esp of a person) having features, colouring, and a general facial appearance that look attractive in photographs
(biology) producing or emitting light: photogenic bacteria
Derived Forms
photogenically, adverb
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 photogenic

1839, "produced or caused by light," from photo- "light" + -genic "produced by" (see genus). Originally in photogenic drawing, the early term for "photography;" meaning "photographing well" is first attested 1928, from photo- as short for "photograph."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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photogenic in Medicine

photogenic pho·to·gen·ic (fō'tə-jěn'ĭk)

  1. Producing or emitting light; phosphorescent.

  2. Caused or produced by light, as a seizure.

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