- To portray is to depict or describe something or someone in a certain way.
When you make everyone believe your spouse is mean, this is an example of a situation where you portray your spouse as a mean person.
- to make a picture or portrait of; depict; delineate
- to make a word picture of; describe
- to play the part of as in a play or film
Origin of portrayMiddle English purtreien ; from Middle French portraire ; from Classical Latin protrahere, to draw forth ; from pro-, forth + trahere, to draw
transitive verbpor·trayed, por·tray·ing, por·trays
- To depict or represent pictorially; make a picture of: The painter portrays a typical country scene.
- To describe or represent in words: The author portrays the world of the fantastically wealthy.
- To describe or depict in a certain way: The book portrays her as hardworking and driven.
- To represent dramatically, as on the stage: The actor portrays an obsessed lover in the film.
Origin of portrayMiddle English portraien, from Old French portraire : por-, forth (from Latin prō-, forth; see pro–1) + traire, to draw (from Latin trahere, to drag).
(third-person singular simple present portrays, present participle portraying, simple past and past participle portrayed)
Middle French portraire.