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[pawr-trit, -treyt, pohr-] /ˈpɔr trɪt, -treɪt, ˈpoʊr-/
a likeness of a person, especially of the face, as a painting, drawing, or photograph:
a gallery of family portraits.
a verbal picture or description, usually of a person:
a biography that provides a fascinating portrait of an 18th-century rogue.
Digital Technology. relating to or producing vertical, upright orientation of computer or other digital output, with lines of data parallel to the two shorter sides of a page or screen. Compare landscape.
Compare landscape (def 8).
Origin of portrait
1560-70; < Middle French: a drawing, image, etc., noun use of past participle of portraire to portray
Related forms
portraitlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for portrait
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The portrait was not wanting in force or decision of touch, but the drawing was defective.

    Turner William Cosmo Monkhouse
  • On inquiry, I was informed that it was a lack of taste to make a portrait conspicuous.

    Mizora: A Prophecy Mary E. Bradley
  • This book is prefaced by the portrait of the author, given above.

  • It is just this which the portrait of the Capitol lacks for the completion of Caligula.

    New Italian sketches John Addington Symonds
  • In one room was a portrait of the king, which was very like him.

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Thomas Wentworth Higginson
British Dictionary definitions for portrait


/ˈpɔːtrɪt; -treɪt/
  1. a painting, drawing, sculpture, photograph, or other likeness of an individual, esp of the face
  2. (as modifier): a portrait gallery
a verbal description or picture, esp of a person's character
(printing) (of a publication or an illustration in a publication) of greater height than width Compare landscape (sense 5a)
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 portrait

1560s, "a figure, drawn or painted," a back formation from portraiture or directly from Middle French portrait, from Old French portret (13c.), noun use of past participle of portraire "to paint, depict" (see portray). Especially of the head and face of a person.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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