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 The videos do depict a chaotic scene, with police and protesters more aggressive than Cleveland has seen in years past. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Video from Cleveland’s George Floyd protest contains no mention of protesters throwing rocks before police used pepper spray, tear gas on crowd," 7 July 2020 The low numbers do not depict the real situation, according to experts. Quanta Magazine, "Why South Asia’s COVID-19 Numbers Are So Low (For Now)," 23 June 2020 Conservationists and art historians have raised concerns about what will happen to the medieval mosaics inside Hagia Sophia, which depict the Holy Family and portraits of imperial Christian emperors, which strict Muslims may demand be covered. Carlotta Gall,, "Erdogan signs decree allowing Hagia Sophia to be used as a mosque again," 10 July 2020 Pelosi is seeking to remove more than a dozen statues and busts on display in the Capitol that depict Confederate officers or lawmakers who espoused racist views. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "'People will do what they do': Pelosi dismisses mob destruction of statues," 9 July 2020 The advertisements, filled with dark imagery and dramatic music, depict a 911 call gone awry and then blame Biden for it. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "The vast majority of Americans don’t want to defund the police," 9 July 2020 Ever does exceptionally well is depict the palliative power of female friendships: Eleanor (Ramona Young) and Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) support Devi through her grief — and remind her that good BFFs think about each other, not just themselves. Kristen Baldwin,, "The best TV shows of 2020… so far," 1 July 2020 During a discussion about whether county patrol cars should have decals that depict a black and white American flag with a blue stripe, Quiring spoke in favor of the decals, associated with Blue Lives Matter and supportive of law enforcement. oregonlive, "Vancouver NAACP president calls on Clark County Chair Eileen Quiring to resign over comment," 28 June 2020 Sure, a purist might tell you that the phrase technically applies to works of design, art, and literature that depict the future as it was envisioned in the past (the 1960s animated show The Jetsons, for example). Ashley Fetters, The Atlantic, "The Weird Retro-Futurism of Pandemic Life," 25 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

29 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Depict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 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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