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

Scott worked closely with Universal film executive Holly Goline, who also oversaw the backlot mural on a soundstage wall by street artist Tristan Eaton (unveiled earlier this year) that depicts the four aforementioned Universal classic monsters. Ingrid Schmidt, The Hollywood Reporter, "Inside the Horror Film-Themed Moschino Fashion Show at Universal Studios," 8 June 2019 The controversy was sparked by a video that depicted workers abusing calves at Fair Oaks Farms, a Northern Indiana dairy farm and tourism attraction that has been called the Disneyland of agriculture. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "It's vigilante activist vs. politically connected farmer in Fair Oaks cruelty controversy," 7 June 2019 And on the occasion of his return, awaiting every player at their chair in the clubhouse Thursday was a T-shirt that depicted a hand swiping through the air. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fernando Tatis Jr. returns to Padres, ready to be team’s ‘crazy horse’," 7 June 2019 This may sound like a sentimental conclusion for a show that plainly depicted bloodshed and subjugation, and often seemed to revel in the more abject qualities of the American West. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "The Outlaw World of Deadwood," 6 June 2019 Criminal Justice reporter Adam Ferrise explains the significance of two videos from inside the Cuyahoga County jail, videos that depict horrendous behavior by jail guards., "Lawyer Roger Synenberg’s astounding bad judgment, disturbing jail videos, Ohio’s Amazon cash bonanza, update on bikelife’s Streetgod and Armond Budish’s “gotcha guy” – This Week in the CLE," 6 June 2019 The detectives were also able to recover surveillance video that depicted the two —wearing the same clothing as in the bus video — fleeing after the robbery. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two teens charged in connection with May 27 armed robbery outside a Wauwatosa Qdoba," 5 June 2019 There’s talent to spare in this production that depicts the harsh reality of Bay Area life. Randy Myers, The Mercury News, "Weekend movies: ‘Last Black Man’ tackles the downside of San Francisco," 5 June 2019 But the mural that depicted local civil rights celebrities Jo Ann Robinson, Rosa Parks and E.D. Nixon is gone. USA TODAY, "Painting over history, saving cats’ claws, angry birds: News from around our 50 states," 5 June 2019

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

12 Jun 2019

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 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

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

What made you want to look up depict? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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