follow Dictionary.com

Why is the ninth month called September?

portray

[pawr-trey, pohr-] /pɔrˈtreɪ, poʊr-/
verb (used with object)
1.
to make a likeness of by drawing, painting, carving, or the like.
2.
to depict in words; describe graphically.
3.
to represent dramatically, as on the stage:
He portrayed Napoleon in the play.
Origin
1300-1350
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
portrayable, adjective
portrayer, noun
nonportrayable, adjective
preportray, verb (used with object)
unportrayable, adjective
unportrayed, adjective
Synonyms
1, 2. picture, delineate, limn. See depict.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for portray
  • Though he often dwells on his own character, Hamsun skillfully uses mannerisms to portray character generally.
  • Even religious texts portray both a loving and wrathful god and we use our conscience to decide which to follow.
  • But the style of portraying low-class character is full of interest.
  • But the media, at any rate, portray it as a point of national pride and as a huge stimulus to the economy and employment.
  • Maybe some of the museum animal poses were not trying to portray walking gaits.
  • Abu Dhabi has sought to portray itself as above this kind of thing: elegant, restrained and a little bit aloof.
  • This issue is much fuzzier than you portray it.
  • After all, one animal may represent a species; to portray it truly is to respect the species.
  • The female form is useful for some ideas, but the colossal male is better suited to the ghoulish ones I try to portray.
  • Indeed, some of his first dance paintings portray the audience and orchestra as prominently as the ballerinas onstage.
British Dictionary definitions for portray

portray

/pɔːˈtreɪ/
verb (transitive)
1.
to represent in a painting, drawing, sculpture, etc; make a portrait of
2.
to make a verbal picture of; depict in words
3.
to play the part of (a character) in a play or film
Derived Forms
portrayable, adjective
portrayal, noun
portrayer, noun
Word Origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for 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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for portray

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for portray

12
12
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with portray