1 noun
1 IMAGE (C) a painting, drawing, or photograph: A picture of a waterfall hung on the wall. | Get the children to draw a picture of their dream house. | Gary got his picture in the papers.
2 SITUATION (singular) the general situation in a place, organization etc: The general picture appears to be of low levels of union membership. | the wider political picture
3 DESCRIPTION (countable usually singular) a description that gives you an idea of what something is like
(+ of): Archaeologists are trying to build up a picture of life in Mayan cities. | paint a picture (=describe something in a particular way): Lee's film paints a bleak picture of life in the inner city.
4 TELEVISION (countable usually singular) the image that appears on a television or cinema screen: Something's wrong with the TV - the picture is blurry.
5 MENTAL IMAGE (countable usually singular) an image or memory that you have in your mind: I still have a vivid picture of the first time I saw Paris.
6 take a picture to use a camera to take a photograph: Dad took a picture of us standing by a huge redwood tree.
7 put sb in the picture to give someone information about something, so that they can understand it: I've been away for a month so you'll have to put me in the picture.
8 get the picture especially spoken to understand a situation: “Her parents are separated and she's being raised by her sister.” “I get the picture.”
9 out of the picture if someone is out of the picture, they are not involved in a situation: “Is Pam still with Eric?” “No, he's out of the picture.”
a) (C) a word meaning a film, used especially by people in the film industry: It was voted the year's best picture.
b) the pictures old-fashioned the cinema: Do you want to go to the pictures on Saturday? | be in pictures (=act in films or work in making films)
11 be the picture of health/innocence/despair etc to look very healthy, innocent etc: Head bowed and sobbing, she was the picture of misery..
12 the big picture AmE informal a situation considered as a whole, rather than its details: Try and get an idea of the big picture before you suggest any changes.
13 be/look a picture especially BrE to be beautiful or unusual to look at: Madge's garden is a picture in the summer.
—see also: pretty as a picture pretty 2 (8) 2 verb (T)
1 to imagine something, especially by creating an image in your mind: picture sb/sth as sth: Rob had pictured her as kind of serious, but she wasn't like that at all. | picture sb doing sth: I really can't picture him skiing. He's so clumsy! | picture my surprise/horror/annoyance etc (=used when saying how surprised, annoyed etc you were): Picture my surprise on finding everyone had left!
2 to show something or someone in a photograph, painting, or drawing: The billboard pictured a handsome, thirtyish man smoking a cigarette.
3 (often passive) to describe something clearly: This situation is realistically pictured in the first chapter.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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