portrait

noun
por·trait | \ˈpȯr-trət, -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

Alma looks like an ingénue in her 1907 Madame d’Ora portrait, shot when both sitter and photographer were still in their 20s. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Faces of Old Vienna," 12 July 2018 In this May 30, 2018 photo, Hind Zaki, the wife of death row prisoner Ismail Saleh and his mother, right, pose with his portrait at their home in Mosul, Iraq. Hamza Hendawi, Washington Post, "A neighbor’s word can bring death sentence in Iraq IS trials," 9 July 2018 The leaders then met one-on-one, with a smiling Abiy leaning toward Afwerki under a wall hung with their portraits. Elias Meseret, The Christian Science Monitor, "Ethiopia and Eritrea unite after ending 20-year border war," 9 July 2018 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle released their own official engagement portraits back in December. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince Louis' Christening Date Has Been Set and It's On a Day That's Very Special to the Queen," 7 July 2018 The work does include the two-sided face Picasso often showed in his portraits of Walter. Jane Wooldridge, miamiherald, "For Picasso and his voluptuous muse, time was brief. This painting tells the tale.," 4 July 2018 Artist Kristin Cumings doesn’t create her portraits with oil or watercolor. Diane Bell, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Yacht America provides unusual way to see movies on the move," 2 July 2018 While Trump performed perfectly well among the rich, most of his supporters are not rich (because most Americans are not rich) and would have trouble recognizing themselves in his portrait of lavish apartments and boats. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Calls His Supporters ‘Elite,’ Doesn’t Understand How Populism Works," 28 June 2018 Above, Mary Kinyanjui, originally from Kenya, has her portrait taken after a 2009 naturalization ceremony at Seattle Center. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "Neighborhood crime may not be as bad as some Seattleites fear and Amazon buys online pharmacy | Thursday Morning Brief, June 28," 28 June 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

23 Sep 2018

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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, -ˌtrāt\

Kids Definition of portrait

: a picture of a person usually showing the face

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Comments on portrait

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