[pik-suhl, -sel]
noun Computers, Television.
the smallest element of an image that can be individually processed in a video display system.

1965–70; pix2 (def 1) + el(ement)

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To pixels
World English Dictionary
pixel (ˈpɪksəl)
any of a number of very small picture elements that make up a picture, as on a visual display unit
[C20: from pix pictures + el(ement)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1969, coined to describe the photographic elements of a television image, from pix (1932 abbreviation of pictures, coined by "Variety" headline writers) + el(ement).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

pixel pix·el (pĭk'səl, -sěl')
The smallest image-forming unit of a video display.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
pixel   (pĭk'səl)  Pronunciation Key 

(click for larger image in new window)

The most basic unit of an image displayed on a computer or television screen or on a printer. Pixels are generally arranged in rows and columns; a given combination among the pixels of various brightness and color values forms an image. ◇ A subpixel is one of three components of a pixel used in the representation of a color image. Each subpixel represents the contribution of a single color—red, green, or blue—to the overall color and brightness of the pixel.

Our Living Language  : The images on a computer screen are composed of tiny dots called pixels (short for picture element). The computer controls each pixel individually. Most monitors have hundreds of thousands, or often millions, of pixels that are lit or dimmed to create an image. Each pixel of a color screen is made out of one red, one blue, and one green subpixel, generally arranged in a triangle, adjusted individually to create the combined effect of a single color but treated as a unit pixel for determining resolution. Pixels vary in size according to the size and resolution of the monitor. Smaller pixels provide higher resolution, and therefore sharper images, but require more memory to store the color and intensity data of each pixel and more processing time to refresh the screen. Resolution is frequently referred to in terms of dpi, or dots per inch.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
picture element
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
If you sit far enough away so they can see your whole body, that doesn't leave
  many pixels for your face.
If your screen is so large you can see the individual pixels on the screen, the
  illusion is ruined.
Pixels are an anachronism, the clumsy brush strokes of the digital world.
He enlarged the image on his computer screen until it became a mosaic of pixels.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature