- 1portray somebody/something to show someone or something in a picture; to describe someone or something in a piece of writing synonym depict The painting portrays the duke's third wife. He was one of the first to portray animals from the New World. His war poetry vividly portrays life in the trenches.
- 2portray somebody/something (as somebody/something) to describe or show someone or something in a particular way, especially when this does not give a complete or accurate impression of what they are like synonym represent Throughout the trial, he portrayed himself as the victim.
- 3 portray somebody/something to act a particular role in a movie or play synonym play Her father will be portrayed by Robert De Niro.
NAmE//pɔrˈtreɪ//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they portray
he / she / it portrays
past simple portrayed
-ing form portraying