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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce portray (audio)

Dictionary definition of portray

To represent or depict something, such as a person, an event, or an idea, in a particular way.
"The advertisement aims to portray the product as luxurious and high-end."

Detailed meaning of portray

It can be done through various forms of expression, such as art, literature, film, theater, or any other medium.
When someone portrays a character in a play or a movie, for example, they are representing that character's personality, emotions, and actions. In art, to portray something means to depict it in a painting, sculpture, or any other medium. In literature, to portray something means to describe it in words, creating an image or a vision in the reader's mind.
It can also refer to the way someone presents themselves or their actions, which can be viewed as a representation of their personality or character. In this sense, it can be used to describe how someone portrays themselves in public, in front of their peers, or in any other situation.

In general, portray refers to the act of representing or depicting something in a particular way, it can be done through various forms of expression and implies creating an image, a vision or a representation of something or someone.

Example sentences containing portray

1. The artist will portray the emotions of the subject vividly in the painting.
2. It is essential to portray characters realistically in a novel to engage the readers.
3. Photographers often portray moments in time that can tell a whole story.
4. Films that accurately portray historical events can serve as an educational tool.
5. The biography aims to portray the life of the scientist, warts and all.
6. The media should portray news events without any bias or prejudice.

History and etymology of portray

The verb 'portray' has its etymological roots in the Middle English word 'portraien,' which was derived from the Old French term 'portraire,' meaning 'to depict' or 'to draw.' This Old French word, in turn, came from the Latin 'protrahere,' which means 'to pull forward' or 'to draw out.' 'Portray' signifies the act of representing or depicting something, such as a person, an event, or an idea, in a particular way through various forms of visual or verbal expression. The term embodies the concept of capturing the essence or characteristics of a subject, often emphasizing the artist's skill in conveying a specific interpretation or message. 'Portray' is a word that reflects the human capacity for creative expression and storytelling, highlighting the power of art and language to convey meaning and evoke emotions through representation.

Quiz: Find the meaning of portray

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Further usage examples of portray

1. It is difficult to portray the intricacies of mental health issues accurately.
2. Actors strive to portray their characters as authentically as possible.
3. The painting aims to portray the beauty of nature in its rawest form.
4. The documentary will portray the struggles faced by refugees.
5. The novel will portray the complexities of human relationships.
6. The sculpture will portray the strength and resilience of the human spirit.
7. The artist will portray the raw emotions felt during a traumatic event.
8. The film will portray the journey of self-discovery of the protagonist.
9. The painting will portray the serenity and calmness of the seaside.
10. The biography will portray the struggles and triumphs of the activist.
11. The photograph will portray the energy and vibrancy of the city.
12. The novel will portray the trials and tribulations faced by the protagonist.
13. The sculpture will portray the grace and beauty of the human form.
14. The documentary will portray the efforts of conservationists to save endangered species.



depict, misrepresent, distort, conceal


Adventurous and Wandering, Agreements and Settlements, Curiosity and Inquiry, Inquiry and Insight, Innovation and Inception, Wisdom and Understanding, Recollect and Ruminate, Aesthetic and Appearance

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