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

Some of the most recognizable imagery from The Face over the years include: the black and white Madonna portrait, a young Kate Moss in a Native American headdress that surely wouldn’t fly today, and Andre 3000 styled as an Egyptian prince. Scarlett Newman, Teen Vogue, "The Youth Culture Magazine That Put Naomi Campbell and Missy Elliot on the Cover Is Relaunching," 1 Apr. 2019 As if the art work above wasn't incredible enough already, a second portrait of Elizabeth, by military artist Stuart Brown, was unveiled on November 30. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Queen Elizabeth II's Outfit in Her New Portrait Has a Hidden Meaning," 3 Dec. 2018 Samsung says the camera can recognize 20 different types of scenes, including food, portraits, pets, landscapes, beaches, sunrises and sunsets, and more. Dan Seifert, The Verge, "Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: more, more, more," 17 Aug. 2018 Perhaps the personalities are self-portraits, McKenzie muses. Morgan Smith, chicagotribune.com, "Mac Blackout brings street art with a flair to Uncle Art Gallery," 13 July 2018 The lecture series, which started last week and runs every Friday this month, also will explore other art history topics in relation to modern concepts such as: Are smartphone selfies an electronic version of a self-portrait? Lisa Maria Garza, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Rollins College class on memes explains to seniors creative ways people get 'snarky' online," 11 July 2018 So was a reproduction of a self-portrait by Daniel Wadsworth’s friend Thomas Sully, which can be seen peeking out of a window on the Prospect Street side of the Morgan Wing of the museum. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "The Sculptures Outside The Wadsworth, Explained," 9 July 2018 Mashup self-portraits by Tim Hawkinson have likewise been exhibited before at the gallery and in this context take on a new toxicity: historical, literary and biological. Charles Desmarais, SFChronicle.com, "Summer exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery a monstrous affair," 6 July 2018 Why was there a portrait of the Beast as a grownup hanging in his castle? Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "11 Disney Movie Plot Holes That Will Forever Be Annoying," 30 Jan. 2019

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

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

Comments on portrait

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