portray

verb
por·​tray | \ pȯr-ˈtrā How to pronounce portray (audio) , pər-\
portrayed; portraying; portrays

Definition of portray

transitive verb

1 : to make a picture of : depict
2a : to describe in words
b : to play the role of : enact

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Other Words from portray

portrayer noun

Examples of portray in a Sentence

The White House has portrayed the President as deeply conflicted over the matter. The lawyer portrayed his client as a victim of child abuse. He portrayed himself as a victim. The painting portrays the queen in a purple robe. Laurence Olivier portrayed Hamlet beautifully.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But now Mysterio has used EDITH to similar effect, portraying himself as the hero even after he’s been killed. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Breaking Down the Spider-Man: Far From Home Post-Credits Scenes," 2 July 2019 Trump, under fire for inflaming tensions with Iran, wanted to portray himself as a diplomat who prevented war with North Korea, Lankov said. Seung Min Kim, The Denver Post, "Trump becomes first sitting president to set foot into North Korea," 30 June 2019 Pentagon officials found that response at odds with how the joint-venture had portrayed itself in China. Brian Spegele, WSJ, "How a Big U.S. Chip Maker Gave China the ‘Keys to the Kingdom’," 27 June 2019 The idea of speaking Spanish during a presidential debate makes sense for a party that’s trying to both appeal to Latino voters and portray itself as the defender of American diversity against Trumpian nativism. Dara Lind, Vox, "4 winners and 3 losers from the first night of the Democratic debates," 27 June 2019 Biden portrayed himself as an opponent of Eastland on policy, which was true in some cases but not in others. Jonathan Allen, NBC News, "The do-or-die mission for Democrats hitting the stage Wednesday night," 26 June 2019 The esteemed group of accomplished creatives, lawyers, financiers, non-profit consultants and media personalities each introduced themselves and suggested which celebrity or actor might best portray them in a movie. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "VIP view: 'It Girls' inaugural dinner party at Saks Fifth Avenue's 51fifteen Cuisine & Cocktails," 26 June 2019 Students who put a lot of effort into portraying themselves a certain way online are more vulnerable and would benefit more profoundly from regular breaks. Jon Patrick Hatcher, Good Housekeeping, "College Depression and Anxiety Are Serious — Here's How to Help Yourself or a Friend," 26 June 2019 Armed civilian groups have been an intermittent presence on the border for years, portraying themselves as auxiliaries to the Border Patrol and operating in areas where agents are not stationed. Fox News, "Civilian border militia spokesman indicted for impersonating US officer: prosecutors," 24 June 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for portray

Middle English portraien, from Anglo-French purtraire, from Latin protrahere to draw forth, reveal, expose — more at protract

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Statistics for portray

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for portray

The first known use of portray was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for portray

portray

verb

English Language Learners Definition of portray

: to describe (someone or something) in a particular way
: to show (someone or something) in a painting, book, etc.
: to play (a character) in a film, play, or television show

portray

verb
por·​tray | \ pȯr-ˈtrā How to pronounce portray (audio) \
portrayed; portraying

Kids Definition of portray

1 : to make a portrait of The artist portrayed the young queen.
2 : to describe in words or words and images The story portrays frontier life.
3 : to play the role of He portrays the hero in a movie.

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More from Merriam-Webster on portray

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with portray

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for portray

Spanish Central: Translation of portray

Nglish: Translation of portray for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of portray for Arabic Speakers

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