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 depict (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 drawings depict police killings of Black men and boys, including Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Clevelander shot and killed by patrolman Timothy Loehmann. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Cleveland artist Wadsworth Jarrell sets record straight on history of revolutionary AfriCOBRA collective in new book," 10 Jan. 2021 The pictures depict various old structures, including houses, and children at play. Washington Post, "In the galleries: A satire on images of women and the objects they advertise," 25 Dec. 2020 But nearly all contemporaneous stories depict Lennon as a steadfast and joyful father, totally consumed with domestic life. NBC News, "John Lennon as 'stay-at-home dad': Inside his final years," 6 Dec. 2020 Images from the movie’s barbershop scenes depict characters with different hair textures and hair styles. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Here are Alabama’s 2020 Entertainers of the Year," 31 Dec. 2020 Actually, there's a third piece of the puzzle: Flashbacks depict a younger Augustine, played by Ethan Peck, using an effects-blended version of his and Clooney's voices. Chris Hewitt, Star Tribune, "George Clooney's 'The Midnight Sky' is half of a good outer-space movie," 24 Dec. 2020 Both Obama's and Trump's images depict significant attendance at apparent campaign events, while Biden's images show small groups of supporters. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Meme is missing context, potentially misleads on support for Biden, Trump and Obama," 23 Dec. 2020 The displays depict many of Vista’s unique amenities. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Still time to join in county holiday activities," 23 Dec. 2020 Bradshaw’s will depict the park’s critters, including a bobcat, an owl and an armadillo. Deborah Martin,, "Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge at Hardberger Park opens Friday, but the party will have to wait," 10 Dec. 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

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Depict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on depict

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