portray VERB 1) depict in a work of art or literature. 2) describe in a particular way. 3) (of an actor) play the part of.
DERIVATIVES portrayal noun portrayer noun.
ORIGIN Old French portraire, from traire 'to draw' .

English terms dictionary. 2015.

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  • Portray — Por*tray , v. t. [Written also {pourtray}.] [imp. & p. p. {portrayed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Portraying}.] [OE. pourtraien, OF. portraire, pourtraire, F. portraire, fr. L. protrahere, protractum, to draw or drag forth; pro forward, forth + trahere to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • portray — c.1300, from Anglo Fr. purtraire, O.Fr. portraire to draw, to paint, portray (12c.), lit. trace, draw forth, from por forth (from L. pro ) + traire trace, draw, from L. trahere to drag, draw (see TRACT (Cf. tract) (1)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • portray — I verb act, adumbrate, characterize, convey a verbal image, convey an impression, delineate, depict, depicture, depingere, describe, detail, draw, express, give words to, illustrate, limn, outline, paint, particularize, picture, present, recreate …   Law dictionary

  • portray — *represent, depict, delineate, picture, limn Analogous words: image, photograph (see corresponding nouns at IMAGE): describe, *relate, narrate: reproduce, copy, duplicate (see corresponding nouns at REPRODUCTION) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • portray — [v] represent, imitate act like, characterize, copy, delineate, depict, describe, draw, duplicate, figure, illustrate, image, impersonate, interpret, limn, mimic, paint, parody, photograph, picture, render, reproduce, simulate, sketch; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • portray — [pôr trā′] vt. [ME purtreien < MFr portraire < L protrahere, to draw forth < pro , forth + trahere, to DRAW] 1. to make a picture or portrait of; depict; delineate 2. to make a word picture of; describe 3. to play the part of as in a… …   English World dictionary

  • portray */ — UK [pɔː(r)ˈtreɪ] / US [pɔrˈtreɪ] verb [transitive] Word forms portray : present tense I/you/we/they portray he/she/it portrays present participle portraying past tense portrayed past participle portrayed 1) a) to show or describe someone or… …   English dictionary

  • portray — verb ADVERB ▪ accurately ▪ clearly ▪ graphically, vividly ▪ an incident that graphically portrays the dangers associated with this sport ▪ The museum …   Collocations dictionary

  • portray — v. (d; tr.) to portray as (to portray smb. as a hero) * * * [ pɔːtreɪ] (d; tr.) to portray as (to portray smb. as a hero) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • portray — por|tray [ pɔr treı ] verb transitive * 1. ) to show or describe someone or something in a particular way: portray someone as something: Opponents portray the president as weak and ineffectual. portray someone in a good/bad light (=make them seem …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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