[pawr-trit, -treyt, pohr-]


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 formspor·trait·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of portrait

Historical Examples of portrait

British Dictionary definitions for portrait



  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 widthCompare landscape (def. 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

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