de·​pict di-ˈpikt How to pronounce depict (audio)
depicted; depicting; depicts

transitive verb

: to represent by or as if by a picture
a mural depicting a famous battle
: describe sense 1
the way the novelist depicts his female characters
depicter noun

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Depict and Depiction

If you depict someone or something, you show what that person or thing is like—either in some kind of image (such as a drawing, painting, photograph, or movie), or with words.

What results from your efforts to depict that person or thing can be called a depiction. The noun depiction is included at this entry without a definition because its meaning can be easily understood from the definition of the verb—it's the act of, or an instance of, depicting something or someone—but some examples of depiction in a sentence might be helpful:

The depiction of the battle in the painting is not historically correct.

I think the novel is a good depiction of a typical modern American marriage.

Many were moved by the film's depictions of animals helping people.

The author's depiction of the practice as uncommon is problematic; it's done by millions of people throughout the world every day.

The essay is an honest depiction of life in the city.

The book is fascinating in its depiction of the country's early history.

Examples of depict in a Sentence

The wall was painted with a large mural depicting famous scenes from American history. Several of the architect's most famous buildings will soon be depicted on postage stamps. The photograph depicts the two brothers standing in front of a store. Angels are usually depicted with wings. In the drawing, the magic cap was depicted as a soft, black hat. The movie depicts the life of early settlers. I like the way she depicts the characters in her novels. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The image depicts a coat by Beene with its sleeves tied around itself. José Criales-Unzueta, Vogue, 25 Sep. 2023 Brave New World depicted a future in which humans don’t have much to do and end up blissed out on drugs and immersive entertainment. Jonathan Taplin, Rolling Stone, 24 Sep. 2023 Online memes have depicted the gap between the two jobs with very similar tasks. Jenny Goldsberry, Washington Examiner, 24 Sep. 2023 Much of the novel depicts, with exquisite detail, the prosaic patterns of Ruth and Lily’s home life—quotidian routines between grandmother and granddaughter that are mildly intoxicating. Jane Hu, The New Yorker, 23 Sep. 2023 And its wars and gladiator fights have been depicted in popular films that tend to glorify themes of dominance and power. Alexa Mikhail, Fortune Well, 23 Sep. 2023 Or is that more accurately depicted as a byproduct of the activity? Rory Smith, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2023 The entire video and the depicting crime were less than two minutes. Lawrence Richard, Fox News, 20 Sep. 2023 The footprint carvings spanned 40 species and represented a greater variety of animals than were depicted in engravings of creatures’ full bodies also found at the site. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'depict.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin depictus, past participle of depingere, from de- + pingere to paint — more at paint

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of depict was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near depict

Cite this Entry

“Depict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​pict di-ˈpikt How to pronounce depict (audio)
: to represent by a picture
: to describe in words
depiction noun

More from Merriam-Webster on depict

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