portrait

noun
por·​trait | \ ˈpȯr-trət How to pronounce portrait (audio) , -ˌtrāt\

Definition of portrait

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : picture especially : a pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face
2 : a sculptured figure : bust
3 : a graphic portrayal in words

portrait

adjective

Definition of portrait (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being a rectangular document having the vertical dimension longer than the horizontal dimension switching from landscape to portrait mode — compare landscape sense 3

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Examples of portrait in a Sentence

Noun

The queen posed for her portrait. The book presents a portrait of life in a small town.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This portrait of Alma is compelling; the feminist gloss, less so. The Economist, "The life and loves of Alma Mahler," 14 June 2019 The portrait that emerges is complex and generally favorable: DeLorean as colorful American dreamer, an optimist and an electrifying original. Rick Kogan, chicagotribune.com, "Who could play the flamboyant car maker in 'Framing John DeLorean?' How about Alec Baldwin," 12 June 2019 The portrait of Wang’s pregnancy is still visible, as a frame within a frame within a frame, receding into the background. Andrea Denhoed, The New Yorker, "A Photographer’s Vision of Being a Mother and an Artist, Year After Year," 5 June 2019 In a time of goofy selfies, these portraits are sober, reminding us that getting a photo taken back then was serious business, possibly a once in a lifetime experience. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "See the photographs that put the Dells on the map at an exclusive exhibit at West Bend's Museum of Wisconsin Art," 4 June 2019 The portraits were closely related to their solo releases through the years. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "What is BTS Festa? Everything You Need To Know About BTS's Anniversary Celebration," 4 June 2019 As the cost of image-making plummeted, more and more Americans posed for portraits—including African-Americans, both free and enslaved. Fergus M. Bordewich, WSJ, "Book Review: Snapshots That Changed Minds," 29 Mar. 2019 Gerald Shur, the retired founder and longtime head of the Federal Witness Protection Program, poses for a portrait May 6, 2002 at an undisclosed suburban location. Popular Mechanics, "How the Witness Protection Program Decides Where To Send People," 8 Feb. 2019 Like Eugenie and Jack, Harry and Meghan also posed for a second portrait with just their bridal party. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Comparing Prince George and Princess Charlotte in Princess Eugenie and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding Portraits," 14 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Yet for all the darkness, there’s a welcome and important dose of levity too, from a hilarious video of a beauty products fair by María Luisa Bemberg to Regina Vater’s playful, costumed self-portrait photographs. New York Times, "The Art of Staying Cool: 10 Can’t-Miss Summer Shows in New York," 4 July 2018 Arneson sets the tone through a ceramic self-portrait head from 1973, wall-mounted near the entry. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "This Candy Store wasn't a candy store: Remembering a California gallery that made art stars," 3 July 2018 In portrait orientation, the left side of the bottom bar only has space for about three to four app icons. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Acer Chromebook Tab 10 review: Chrome OS revives Google’s tablet future," 23 June 2018 And even though the demand for photographers in traditional media has declined, there’s still a high-demand for commercial and portrait photographers. Jenny Knizner, USA TODAY, "20 In-Demand Freelance Skills That’ll Get You Hired Today," 4 June 2018 Dorothea Tanning’s self-portrait Birthday (1942) shows her bare-breasted, standing with a small winged monster with her back to a house full of open doors. Thomas Hine, Philly.com, "Art Museum show gives American Modernists - and Philly ones - new respect," 12 Apr. 2018 The heads presage a self-portrait print from 1990, displayed nearby, as well as the soft fabric figurative sculptures that Bourgeois took up in the late ’90s. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Louise Bourgeois: Imagination Unfolds in All Dimensions," 27 Sep. 2017 Portrait sessions for families whose memories were stolen by the wind. Southern Living, "What Stands in a Storm, Part III: Fellowship," 1 May 2017 There’s a 1922 self-portrait painting of Best Maugard in the show. Holland Cotter, New York Times, "“Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950”," 27 Oct. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'portrait.' 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 portrait

Noun

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1975, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for portrait

Noun

Middle French, from past participle of portraire

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Statistics for portrait

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for portrait

The first known use of portrait was in 1570

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More Definitions for portrait

portrait

noun

English Language Learners Definition of portrait

: a painting, drawing, or photograph of a person that usually only includes the person's head and shoulders
: a detailed description of something or someone
: a way of printing a page so that the shorter sides are on the top and bottom and the longer sides are on the left and right

portrait

noun
por·​trait | \ ˈpȯr-trət How to pronounce portrait (audio) , -ˌtrāt\

Kids Definition of portrait

: a picture of a person usually showing the face

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More from Merriam-Webster on portrait

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with portrait

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for portrait

Spanish Central: Translation of portrait

Nglish: Translation of portrait for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of portrait for Arabic Speakers

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