portray

[ pawr-trey, pohr- ]
/ pɔrˈtreɪ, poʊr- /

verb (used with object)

to make a likeness of by drawing, painting, carving, or the like.
to depict in words; describe graphically.
to represent dramatically, as on the stage: He portrayed Napoleon in the play.

Nearby words

  1. portrait lens,
  2. portrait of a lady, the,
  3. portrait of the artist as a young man,
  4. portraitist,
  5. portraiture,
  6. portrayal,
  7. portress,
  8. portside,
  9. portsider,
  10. portsmouth

Origin of portray

1300–50; Middle English portrayen < Middle French portraire < Late Latin prōtrahere to depict, Latin: to draw forth, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + trahere to draw

Related forms

Synonym study

1, 2. See depict.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for portray


British Dictionary definitions for portray

portray

/ (pɔːˈtreɪ) /

verb (tr)

to represent in a painting, drawing, sculpture, etc; make a portrait of
to make a verbal picture of; depict in words
to play the part of (a character) in a play or film
Derived Formsportrayable, adjectiveportrayal, nounportrayer, noun

Word Origin for portray

C14: from Old French portraire to depict, from Latin prōtrahere to drag forth, bring to light, from pro- 1 + trahere to drag

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 portray

portray

v.

mid-13c., "to draw, paint" (something), from Anglo-French purtraire, Old French portraire "to draw, to paint, portray" (12c.), literally "trace, draw forth," from por- "forth" (from Latin pro-; see pro-) + traire "trace, draw," from Latin trahere "to drag, draw" (see tract (n.1)). Meaning "depict in words, describe" is from late 14c. Related: Portrayed; portraying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper