What does portray mean?

Definitions for portray
pɔrˈtreɪ, poʊr-por·tray

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word portray.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. portrayverb

    portray in words

    "The book portrays the actor as a selfish person"

  2. portray, depict, limnverb

    make a portrait of

    "Goya wanted to portray his mistress, the Duchess of Alba"

  3. impersonate, portrayverb

    assume or act the character of

    "She impersonates Madonna"; "The actor portrays an elderly, lonely man"

  4. portray, presentverb

    represent abstractly, for example in a painting, drawing, or sculpture

    "The father is portrayed as a good-looking man in this painting"


  1. portrayverb

    To describe in words; to convey.

  2. portrayverb

    To adorn with pictures.

  3. Etymology: portraire.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To PORTRAYverb

    Etymology: pourtraire, Fr.

    The Earl of Warwick’s ragged staff is yet to be seen portrayed in many places of their church steeple. Carew.

    Take a tile, and so portray upon it the city Jerusalem. Ez.

    Our Phenix queen was portrayed too bright,
    Beauty alone could beauty take so right. Dryden.

    Various, with boastful argument portray’d. John Milton.


  1. portray

    To portray is to depict or represent someone or something through a particular lens or perspective, often in a creative work such as a painting, film, book, or play. It can also refer to conveying certain characteristics or behaviors through one's actions.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Portrayverb

    to paint or draw the likeness of; as, to portray a king on horseback

  2. Portrayverb

    hence, figuratively, to describe in words

  3. Portrayverb

    to adorn with pictures

  4. Etymology: [OE. pourtraien, OF. portraire, pourtraire, F. portraire, fr. L. protrahere, protractum, to draw or drag forth; pro forward, forth + trahere to draw. See Trace, v. t., and cf. Protract.]

Anagrams for portray »

  1. parroty

  2. tropary

How to pronounce portray?

How to say portray in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of portray in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of portray in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of portray in a Sentence

  1. Kazuo Okada:

    You may have some doubts as to what I’ve been doing because of the reports in the press, including Reuters and Asahi Shimbun, these are all misunderstandings. They portray me as if I’m a bad person but that’s not the case.

  2. Arthur Caplan:

    For me there is a big challenge for media, there are tendencies to want to portray things as back to normal... but most of the world is not in that situation.

  3. Julie Goodin:

    It’s hard for this generation, these kids don’t even know 9/11, they were not even born, are the words objectionable? Yes, there is no one that thinks they aren’t. But by taking away the first part, it’s not changing the meaning of what he is trying to portray.

  4. Anatoly Vorobyov:

    What they did does not portray them, the whole system of modern Russian sport and what happens at the clubs in a positive light.

  5. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky:

    [ They ] destroyed freedom of speech in their state — [ and are ] trying to destroy the neighboring state. They portray themselves as global players. And they themselves are afraid of a relatively short conversation with several journalists, well, if there's such reaction — then we are doing everything right. [ It ] means they are nervous.

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Translations for portray

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"portray." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 1 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/portray>.

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    one of four connected cavities in the brain; is continuous with the central canal of the spinal cord and contains cerebrospinal fluid
    • A. squint-eye
    • B. hypostatization
    • C. fervidness
    • D. ventricle

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