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verb (used with object)
  1. to represent by or as if by painting; portray; delineate.
  2. to represent or characterize in words; describe.
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Origin of depict

1625–35; < Latin dēpictus (past participle of dēpingere), equivalent to dē- de- + pic- past participle stem of pingere to paint + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsde·pict·er, de·pic·tor, nounde·pic·tion, nounde·pic·tive, adjectiveun·de·pict·ed, adjectivewell-de·pict·ed, adjective

Synonyms for depict

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Synonym study

1, 2. Depict, portray, sketch imply a representation of an object or scene by colors or lines, or by words. Depict emphasizes vividness of detail: to depict the confusion of departure. Portray emphasizes faithful representation: We could not portray the anguish of the exiles. Sketch suggests the drawing of the outlines of the most prominent features or details, often in a preparatory way: to sketch the plans for a community development.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for depicting

portray, represent, sketch, characterize, detail, reproduce, paint, interpret, illustrate, delineate, picture, outline, relate, image, state, limn, report, design, narrate, sculpt

Examples from the Web for depicting

Contemporary Examples of depicting

Historical Examples of depicting

  • At least to this extent, then, Shakespeare used Marlowe in depicting Richard's character.

  • So far I have been depicting the development of Darwin's work on the descent of man.

  • By depicting them as much worse than they were, not, as you suppose, much better.

    Crotchet Castle

    Thomas Love Peacock

  • In depicting the manner of this education Dickens rather overshoots the mark.

    Victorian Worthies

    George Henry Blore

  • In depicting his characters, he strikes a note of idealistic beauty.

British Dictionary definitions for depicting


verb (tr)
  1. to represent by or as by drawing, sculpture, painting, etc; delineate; portray
  2. to represent in words; describe
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Derived Formsdepicter or depictor, noundepiction, noundepictive, adjective

Word Origin for depict

C17: from Latin dēpingere, 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

Word Origin and History for depicting



early 15c., from Latin depictus, past participle of depingere "to portray, paint, sketch; describe, imagine," from de- "down" (see de-) + pingere "to paint" (see paint (v.)). Related: Depicted; depicting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper