Meaning of IMAGE in English

im ‧ age S2 W1 AC /ˈɪmɪdʒ/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1100-1200 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: imagene , from Latin imago ]

1 . PUBLIC OPINION the opinion people have of a person, organization, product etc, or the way a person, organization etc seems to be to the public ⇨ reputation

image of

attempts to improve the image of the police

2 . IDEA IN MIND a picture that you have in your mind, especially about what someone or something is like or the way they look

image of

He had no visual image of her, only her name.

He had the clearest image in his mind of his mother and father.


a) a picture of an object in a mirror or in the ↑ lens of a camera:

She peered closely at her image in the mirror.

b) a picture on the screen of a television, cinema, or computer:

Jill Sharpe was little more than a name, a glossy image on a television screen.

c) a picture or shape of a person or thing that is copied onto paper or is cut in wood or stone:

carved images

4 . DESCRIPTION a word, phrase, or picture that describes an idea in a poem, book, film etc:

He paints a very romantic image of working-class communities.

5 . be the (very/living/spitting) image of somebody to look exactly like someone or something else:

He’s the spitting image of his mother.

6 . in the image of somebody/something literary in the same form or shape as someone or something else:

According to the Bible, man was made in the image of God.

⇨ ↑ mirror image

• • •



▪ a good/positive image

We want to give people a positive image of the town.

▪ a bad/negative image

It’s difficult to explain why the industry has such a bad image.


Many negative images of women are found in the media.

▪ a wholesome/clean-cut image (=morally good and never doing anything bad)

The recent scandal has damaged his clean-cut image.

▪ an upmarket image British English , an upscale image American English (=expensive and good quality)

The company is trying to promote an upmarket image.

▪ a downmarket image British English , a downscale image American English (=cheap and not good quality)

The store has struggled to break away from its downmarket image.

▪ the traditional image of something

They want to improve the traditional image of English food.

▪ the popular image of something

The popular image of the spy as a glamorous figure of mystery is far from the reality.

▪ sb’s/sth’s public image (=the image that many people have of someone or something)

Her public image does not reflect the way she behaves in private.

▪ sb’s screen image (=how someone seems in films or on TV)

He had cultivated a screen image as a ruthless tough guy.

▪ a macho image (=sb’s image as a man who is strong and tough)

He was keen to project a macho image in this film.

■ verbs

▪ have an image

The product has a rather downmarket image.

▪ create an image

The company is trying to create an image of quality and reliability.

▪ improve your image

The casino industry was keen to improve its image.

▪ damage your image

Has this scandal damaged the company’s image?

▪ live up to your image (=be like the image you have presented of yourself)

He has certainly lived up to his wild rock-star image.

▪ present/project/promote an image (=behave in a way that creates a particular image)

He presented an image of himself as an energetic young leader.

▪ cultivate an image (=try to encourage or develop an image)

He was trying to cultivate an image of himself as an intellectual.

▪ tarnish an image (=damage it slightly)

His behaviour has tarnished the image of the sport.

▪ clean up your image (=improve your image after it has been damaged)

The pop star promised to clean up his image after he was released from prison.

▪ lose/shed an image (=get rid of it)

The party struggled to lose its image of being somewhat old-fashioned.

■ image + NOUN

▪ an image problem

Politicians have an image problem as far as many young people are concerned.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.