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

But Jiro Dreams of Sushi (made by the same team behind Netflix’s Chef’s Table series) is a gentle, meditative, and entrancing portrait of a man who’s been making sushi for a long time in his tiny, exquisite restaurant. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "A dozen streamable shows and movies that kids can watch (and parents will like)," 24 Dec. 2018 The photo featured was a portrait taken of the royal quartet, all dressed in coordinating formalwear outside of the palace on Spain's National Day, reports People. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Spanish Royals Look Gorgeous in Their 2018 Family Christmas Card," 13 Dec. 2018 There's an adorable portrait of Prince Charles holding Prince George on the day of his baptism, and until recently, it has been confined to a frame in Clarence House. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince Charles Releases Never-Before-Seen Photo with Prince George at His Christening," 13 Nov. 2018 Its walls were adorned with portraits of the automobile titan, who with his second wife had personally supervised the $15 million purchase and renovation of the property, people close to Mr. Ghosn say. Patricia Kowsmann, WSJ, "The Fall of the House of Ghosn," 16 Dec. 2018 The photos follow a tarot card-style format with baroque portraits of women, including the likes of Dilara Findikoglu who designed the dresses for the look book: Picture dripping-in-bling, Mona Lisa lookalikes. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Rihanna-Approved DJ Sita Abellan Launches Her Own Jewelry Line," 6 Dec. 2018 Getty ImagesSamir Hussein This evening, Kensington Palace decided to bless us with a candid portrait of all of your favorite royals ahead of Prince Charles' 70th birthday tomorrow. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Why the Queen Wasn't in Prince Charles' 70th Birthday Royal Family Photo," 13 Nov. 2018 Kloss announced the news of her wedding on Thursday night, with a sweet portrait with her husband. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Karlie Kloss Shares Behind-the-Scenes Photos from Her Wedding and Honeymoon," 22 Oct. 2018 Children and party members are banned from churches in some areas, and at least one township has encouraged Christians to replace posters of Jesus with portraits of Xi. Yanan Wang, The Seattle Times, "‘We must pay so dearly’: China’s churches raided, silenced," 7 Aug. 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

14 Jan 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, -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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