de·pict | \di-ˈpikt, dē-\

Definition of depict 

transitive verb

1 : to represent by or as if by a picture a mural depicting a famous battle

2 : describe sense 1 the way the novelist depicts his female characters

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Other Words from depict

depicter \di-ˈpik-tər, dē- \ noun
depiction \di-ˈpik-shən, dē- \ noun

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Researchers have uncovered a stunning mosaic depicting a biblical scene at the site of an ancient synagogue in Northern Israel. James Rogers, Fox News, "Stunning biblical 'spies' mosaic discovered in Israel," 12 July 2018 The series is a contemporary prequel to the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho, with the new series depicting a young Norman Bates. Temi Adebowale, Country Living, "How Freddie Highmore Went From Child Actor to Star of 'The Good Doctor'," 11 July 2018 That show crystallized conservative fears about America under Obama by depicting small communities of stalwart traditionalists being beset by hordes of outsiders. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 was masterful. But it may have broken the show.," 11 July 2018 Too often, the field gets lost in the folds, depicted as cannon fodder and not world-class players. Jon Wertheim,, "Five Thoughts From Day Five at Wimbledon," 6 July 2018 The film is executive produced by Martin Luther King’s conservative niece Alveda King (within the film, MLK himself is falsely depicted as a pro-lifer). Anna Silman, The Cut, "The Pro-Life ‘Roe v. Wade’ Movie Sounds Like a Total Disaster," 13 July 2018 Dancers in leotards worked their moves in front of The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon and the Coronation of Empress Josephine by Jacques-Louis David (1804), a massive mural depicting the dictator’s rise to power. Meagan Fredette,, "If You Want To See The Art In Beyoncé & Jay Z’s Video, The Louvre Has You Covered," 7 July 2018 The discovery remained relatively quiet until it was depicted in a 2006 book by Richard Preston called The Wild Trees. Robert Earle Howells,, "Should we hide the locations of Earth’s greatest trees?," 3 July 2018 But most gamers are still depicted as being cut from the same mold: smart kids and young men who are obsessed with science fiction, fantasy, comics, and the internet, and don’t like leaving the house. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Netflix’s Kiss Me First has an unusually personal take on gamer culture," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'depict.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of depict

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for depict

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

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Statistics for depict

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for depict

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

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More Definitions for depict



English Language Learners Definition of depict

: to show (someone or something) in a picture, painting, photograph, etc.

: to describe (someone or something) using words, a story, etc.


de·pict | \di-ˈpikt \
depicted; depicting

Kids Definition of depict

1 : to represent by a picture

2 : to describe in words

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Comments on depict

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