por·​tray·​al | \ pȯr-ˈtrā(-ə)l How to pronounce portrayal (audio) , pər- \

Definition of portrayal

1 : the act or process or an instance of portraying : representation
2 : portrait

Examples of portrayal in a Sentence

his novel presents a moving portrayal of a woman searching for personal fulfillment and happiness
Recent Examples on the Web Christopher McDonald was nominated for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series for his portrayal of Marty in Hacks. Bellamy Richardson, PEOPLE.com, 12 July 2022 Caan was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in the 1973 Academy Awards for his portrayal of Sonny Corleone, eldest son of Marlon Brando's Vito Corleone, in The Godfather. Harold Maass, The Week, 8 July 2022 Kidman was recently nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos and appeared in Robert Eggers’ Viking drama The Northman. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 June 2022 Oscar winner Ariana Debose took the stage as the evening host, mere months after earning a statuette for her portrayal of Anita in Stephen Spielberg’s West Side Story. Maria Ward, Vogue, 14 June 2022 Warren looked back on a quote by Audra Ann McDonald after earning her sixth Tony Award in 2014 for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. Okla Jones, Essence, 9 May 2022 Less than an hour later, Smith won the best actor trophy for his portrayal of Richard Williams in King Richard. Anna Chan, Billboard, 28 Mar. 2022 Like DeBose did this year, Moreno won a supporting actress Oscar for her portrayal in the 1961 film. Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2022 Mirren has perhaps only become more famous in the latter half of her career, winning an Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in 2006's The Queen and earning nominations for The Last Station and Gosford Park. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 28 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'portrayal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of portrayal

1843, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of portrayal was in 1843

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Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Portrayal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/portrayal. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for portrayal


por·​tray·​al | \ pȯr-ˈtrā-əl How to pronounce portrayal (audio) \

Kids Definition of portrayal

: the act or result of showing in a portrait or describing in words or images The movie is an accurate portrayal of her life.

More from Merriam-Webster on portrayal

Nglish: Translation of portrayal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of portrayal for Arabic Speakers


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