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

What is worth talking about, though, is the music video, which depicts Chopra acting lovey-dovey with Milo Ventimiglia, a.k.a. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Priyanka Chopra Was a Pop Star in 2013, and Everyone Slept on It," 30 Nov. 2018 One, which depicts a sloshing pool of liquid metal underneath the ticking hands, was particularly mesmerizing to watch. David Pierce, WSJ, "Apple Watch Series 4 First Look: A Medical Wearable in Pretty Disguise," 13 Sep. 2018 Nina Dobrev on Her First Love and Her First Time Skipping School The live performance was meant to pay homage to the single's video, which depicts a young teenager being forcibly taken from his family at the border. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "VMAs 2018: Logic Was Joined by Migrant Families for a Performance Protest," 21 Aug. 2018 Nadell sent the Washington Post of an unflattering image from a 13th-century Spanish manuscript that depicted Jewish money lenders handing over bags of coins to unhappy loan seekers. Eli Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Republicans attack Jewish candidates, including Kim Schrier, with an age-old caricature: fistfuls of cash," 6 Nov. 2018 With any luck, more makeup brands will follow suit and include swatches that accurately depict what foundation shades will actually look like on skin. Helena Yeung, Allure, "This Reddit Thread Shows Why Foundation Shades Need Wet and Dry Swatches," 28 July 2018 Music aside, photos from Summerfest 1998 depict screaming fans and sweaty musicians rocking out on stage. Elena Weissmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest 1998 featured scrunchies, tie-dye and Widespread Panic," 28 June 2018 Maps that become active once an area comes under a watch or warning depict a reasonable worst case scenario, and accompanying text describing what's likely to happen. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "Hurricane forecasts for your block. There's a website for that now," 22 June 2018 Apple mislabelled some buildings, for example, even though their physical footprints are more accurately depicted than Google’s. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Apple Maps has surpassed Google Maps in detail… in 3.1 percent of the US," 2 Nov. 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

11 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on depict

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with depict

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for depict

Spanish Central: Translation of depict

Nglish: Translation of depict for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of depict for Arabic Speakers

Comments on depict

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