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

transitive verb

: to represent by or as if by a picture
a mural depicting a famous battle
: describe sense 1
the way the novelist depicts his female characters
depicter noun

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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.
Recent Examples on the Web Israel’s own status map, which depicts the fighting condition of all of Hamas’ 24 pre-war battalions, designates one of the battalions in Rafah as green, which means operational, and another as orange, which is semi-operational. Matt Gutman, ABC News, 2 July 2024 While most of his creations look peaceful, several of them depict the toll the bait and pharmaceutical industries have had. Oli Turner, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 July 2024 Directors of horror and action movies are not forced to defend themselves in criminal court against allegations that their films depict actual events. Priya Chaudhry, Billboard, 1 July 2024 Hunter Biden is suing Fox News over a fictional series that depicted a mock trial playing out his legal troubles. Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times, 1 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for depict 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'depict.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near depict

Cite this Entry

“Depict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


de·​pict di-ˈpikt How to pronounce depict (audio)
: to represent by a picture
: to describe in words
depiction noun

More from Merriam-Webster on depict

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