• A family enjoying a meal, about 1650. Many of the eating and drinking vessels portrayed, together with much of the tableware, are types which have been excavated. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
    A family enjoying a meal, about 1650. Many of the eating and drinking vessels portrayed, together with much of the tableware, are types which have been excavated. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v portray portray in words "The book portrays the actor as a selfish person"
    • v portray make a portrait of "Goya wanted to portray his mistress, the Duchess of Alba"
    • v portray represent abstractly, for example in a painting, drawing, or sculpture "The father is portrayed as a good-looking man in this painting"
    • v portray assume or act the character of "She impersonates Madonna","The actor portrays an elderly, lonely man"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Comedian/actor Billy Crystal portrayed Jodie Dallas, the first openly gay main character on network television on ABC's Soap, which aired from 1977 to 1981.
    • Portray Hence, figuratively, to describe in words.
    • Portray To adorn with pictures. "Spear and helmets thronged, and shields
      Various with boastful arguments potrayed ."
    • Portray To paint or draw the likeness of; as, to portray a king on horseback. "Take a tile, and lay it before thee, and portray upon it the city, even Jerusalem."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The world's first adhesive postage stamp went on sale in England in 1840. It was the Penny Black, portraying Queen Victoria.
    • portray To depict; reproduce the lineaments of; draw or paint to the life.
    • portray To depict or describe vividly in words; describe graphically or vividly.
    • portray To adorn with pictures or portraits.
    • portray Synonyms and To delineate, sketch, represent.
    • portray To paint.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Sherlock Holmes is the most portrayed character on film, having been played by 72 actors in 204 films. The historical character most represented in films is Napoleon Bonaparte, with 194 film portrayals. Abraham Lincoln is the U.S. President to be portrayed most on film, with 136 films featuring actors playing the role.
    • v.t Portray (pōr-trā′) to paint or draw the likeness of: to describe in words
    • v.t Portray (obs.) to adorn
    • ***


  • Voltaire
    “History is just the portrayal of crimes and misfortunes.”
  • D. H. Lawrence
    “The cruelest thing a man can do to a woman is to portray her as perfection.”
  • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
    “Every author in some degree portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. pourtraien, OF. portraire, pourtraire, F. portraire, fr. L. protrahere, protractum, to draw or drag forth; pro, forward, forth + trahere, to draw. See Trace (v. t.), and cf. Protract
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. portrait, portraire—L. pro, forth, trahĕre, to draw.


In literature:

Not so in the case of sacred music, in which the entire portrayal rests absolutely on the musician's art.
"Beethoven" by George Alexander Fischer
And yet, despite this frantic portrayal of terror, America decided for war.
"Out To Win" by Coningsby Dawson
His experience was a dramatic and tragic portrayal of the position into which every city forces its police.
"A New Conscience And An Ancient Evil" by Jane Addams
And now the music portrayed the rising of the wind, the falling of rain, the roar of thunder.
"Prince Lazybones and Other Stories" by Mrs. W. J. Hays
We want singing actors to-day, men and women who can adequately portray the characters they impersonate through both voice and action.
"Vocal Mastery" by Harriette Brower
Literature, too, portrays an equally absorbing though better adjusted desire to know all kinds of life.
"Democracy and Social Ethics" by Jane Addams
In portraying these, the artists and sculptors do not always slavishly follow tradition or uniformity.
"The Religions of Japan" by William Elliot Griffis
The humanity of his character has been already portrayed in the pages of this work.
"Life of Tecumseh, and of His Brother the Prophet" by Benjamin Drake
A third suggestion is that they portray the generative aspect of nature in the form of a pregnant goddess.
"Rough Stone Monuments and Their Builders" by T. Eric Peet
The suffering depicted was so awful that I cannot now understand how I could have endured looking upon its portrayal.
"T. De Witt Talmage" by T. De Witt Talmage

In poetry:

They leave the mighty problem
Of Maker and the Made,
Devoid of any sequence,
Or any plan portrayed.
"Needs And Powers" by Jared Barhite
Fair as thine own fair form, sad captive queen,
The scenes portrayed in weeping Memory's eye,
Thy Scotia robed in Nature's mantle green,
Bestrewn with flowery gems of richest dye.
"Centenary Poem" by Janet Hamilton
Your hands came, and playing,
O'er their secrets straying
Picture after picture are portraying,
As the poet dreamed them,
In soul-travail teemed them,
Till your artist hands redeemed them.
"To Erika Lie" by Bjornstjerne Bjornson
Her arms and head were bare, seemly she walked
All in her smock so modest as she might;
Upon her shoulders hung a painted cape
For horrible adornment, flames of fire
Portrayed upon it, and mocking demon heads.
"The Maid-Martyr" by Jean Ingelow
TANS. Close by is portrayed one who has on his shield a crest, also
divided into four colours. There is a sun whose rays extend to the back
of the earth, and there is a legend which says: "Idem semper ubique
"The Heroic Enthusiasts - Part The First =Fifth Dialogue.=" by Giordano Bruno
Hence, with thy cross of faith upreared,
Thy book of promise widely spread;
While godless thousands scoffed and jeered,
Thou didst portray the life Christ led,
And how he bore sin's chastening rod
To win the erring back to God.
"A Holy Messenger" by James Madison Bell

In news:

The singer portrays a supportive uncle in the film L.A. Tracy Lawrence in First Feature Film Role.
(AP) — Republican challenger Mitt Romney sought to portray President Barack Ob.
The great Chicago fire of 1871 is the catalyst for a story that deftly portrays a romance against the backdrop of the budding suffrage movement.
Amy Adams did, the thought of one day portraying Lois Lane doesn't really pop into your head.
East Waco leaders demand apology for unfair portrayal at trial.
'Rumor' deftly portrays fraying relationships.
Revolutions Throughout Time The above map portrays a selection of major revolutions or revolution attempts that occured in the 200 years following the American Revolution.
This painting portrays family life at Versailles.
An appeals court has a mixed ruling for one member of the MIT blackjack team portrayed in the card counting-themed movie "21.".
Thesp would portray Kelly in her 6th year as princess of Monaco.
Kiefer Sutherland (right) portrays the father of David Mazouz in the new show.
Today, the Berlin-based photographer and graphic design artist prefers portraying himself.
He is not an uncaring individual as you have portrayed him.
An honest and bleak portrayal By Ann Hornaday Friday, October 19, 2012.
James Stewart, whose movie portrayals of decent, idealistic and naive small-town Americans made him a beloved national icon, died yesterday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif He was 89.

In science:

Thus, the X-ray free-electron lasers will provide radiation of the proper wavelength and the proper time structure, so that materials and the changes of their properties can be portrayed at atomic resolution in four dimensions, not only in space but also in time.
TESLA Technical Design Report Part I: Executive Summary
While this is an interesting speculation, it actually portrays realistic situations.
Black hole entropy: classical and quantum aspects
The image shows the velocity vectors portraying the rotation of the jet, taken in a slice parallel to the disk at slice 18.
JETGET - An analysis and visualization tool for (magneto-)hydrodynamic jet simulations
Accordingly, the “true” intermittency effect induced is portrayed at only the larger sample sizes where there is less likelihood for artificial holes to exist in the histograms.
Statistical randomization test for QCD intermittency in a single-event distribution
The curves portray the best fits found by taking a function form for l0 (E ).
Predicting total and total reaction cross sections using a simple functional form