[ pawr-trey, pohr- ]
/ pɔrˈtreɪ, poʊr- /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: portray / portrayed / portraying / portrays on Thesaurus.com

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.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

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
1, 2. See depict.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for 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
portrayable, adjectiveportrayal, nounportrayer, noun
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
Learn A New Word Right Now!