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[pik-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-ee-uh l] /pɪkˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr i əl/
pertaining to, expressed in, or of the nature of a picture.
illustrated by or containing pictures:
a pictorial history.
of or relating to the art of painting and drawing pictures, the pictures themselves, or their makers:
the pictorial masterpieces of the Renaissance.
having or suggesting the visual appeal or imagery of a picture:
a pictorial metaphor.
a periodical in which pictures constitute an important feature.
a magazine feature that is primarily photographic.
Origin of pictorial
1640-50; < Latin pictōri(us) of painting (pic-, variant stem of pingere to paint + -tōrius -tory1) + -al1
Related forms
pictorially, adverb
pictorialness, noun
nonpictorial, adjective
nonpictorially, adverb
semipictorial, adjective
semipictorially, adverb
unpictorial, adjective
unpictorially, adverb
4. picturesque, vivid, striking, telling. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pictorial
  • It wants all countries to mandate large, grotesque pictorial warnings on cigarette packets.
  • And people in the cinema world use it to mean pictorial effects that are overdone.
  • But the immediate impact of this new trademark was also in its radical departure from its illustrative, pictorial predecessor.
  • Traditional town planning produces pictorial codes that any normal citizen can comprehend.
  • Still, the occasional pictorial representation of our spending priorities does help to bring home how messed up they are.
  • It's a pictorial catalogue of science fiction starships ships to scale.
  • Most installations in the show palpably fall back on pictorial and sculptural conventions.
  • The merely pictorial in nature does not much interest him, probably because he had seen no pictures.
  • The exhibition brings you close to this joyful working presence because it opens with an education in pictorial values.
  • pictorial laminates are not friendly, they do not want to stick together.
British Dictionary definitions for pictorial


relating to, consisting of, or expressed by pictures
(of books, newspapers, etc) containing pictures
of or relating to painting or drawing
(of language, style, etc) suggesting a picture; vivid; graphic
  1. a magazine, newspaper, etc, containing many pictures
  2. (capital when part of a name): the Sunday Pictorial
Derived Forms
pictorially, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin pictōrius, from Latin pictor painter, from pingere to paint
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 pictorial

1640s, from Latin pictorius "of a painter," from pictor "painter," from past participle stem of pingere "to make pictures" (see paint (v.)) + -al (1). The noun meaning "journal in which pictures are the main feature" is first recorded 1844. Related: Pictorially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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