the act of showing or describing somebody/something in a picture, play, book, etc.; a particular way in which this is done The article examines the portrayal of gay men in the media. He is best known for his chilling portrayal of Hannibal Lecter.Extra examples His novel is a vivid portrayal of life in a mining community. Much television news gives a negative portrayal of politics. She shows a full range of emotions in her portrayal of an ambitious politician. The movie gives an accurate portrayal of the newspaper business.