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

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 How to pronounce depicter (audio) , 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 Wall paintings depict detailed scenes from the Book of Amduat and texts from the Litany of Re, a collection of invocations and prayers to the solar deity. National Geographic, "This pharaoh's painted tomb was missing its mummy," 25 June 2020 Every week, a panel of judges will select three winners based on visual appeal, uniqueness, and how well posts depict how contestants are creating cheer around them. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "These Cheerwine Boiled Peanuts Will Be Your New Favorite Snack," 24 June 2020 The images depict small reef islands in the Pacific Ocean, arid landscapes in East Africa and flooded villages in South Asia. Simon Donner, Scientific American, "The Ugly History of Climate Determinism Is Still Evident Today," 24 June 2020 Metro Health statistics for the month of June depict a steep climb in infections and hospitalizations. Marc Duvoisin,, "Bexar County reports 538 new COVID cases, one new death, as surge continues," 21 June 2020 The loss of his father in the line of duty looms over everything, and Judd Apatow and Davidson are unafraid to depict what an emotional crutch that history has become for Scott, who uses it as an excuse for his irresponsibility. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The King of Staten Island," 13 June 2020 Going back to the Renaissance, images provided the basis for one of two ways to depict reality, either a window through which to view the world or a mirror held up to it. John Zotos, Dallas News, "Otis Jones, a Dallas artist with international acclaim, has latest work featured at Barry Whistler Gallery," 11 June 2020 The intent was to create a workout to depict #GeorgeFloyd’s final moments... Li Cohen, CBS News, "Anytime Fitness location under fire for seemingly mocking George Floyd with "I Can't Breathe" workout routine," 10 June 2020 The monument, dedicated in 1988, is intended to depict Clark naming Mount Jefferson, called Seekseekqua or Kuassal Teminbi by tribes that originally inhabited the land. oregonlive, "University of Portland takes down statue of Lewis & Clark slave York," 18 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for depict

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for depict

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Depict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for depict


How to pronounce depict (audio)

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 How to pronounce depict (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for depict

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with depict

Spanish Central: Translation of depict

Nglish: Translation of depict for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of depict for Arabic Speakers

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