- 1portray somebody/something to show somebody/something in a picture; to describe somebody/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 somebody/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.
- 3portray somebody/something to act a particular role in a film/movie or play synonym play Her father will be portrayed by Sean Connery. See related entries: Film reviews and promotion, Producing a play Word Origin Middle English: from Old French portraire, based on traire
BrE BrE//pɔːˈtreɪ//; NAmE NAmE//pɔːrˈtreɪ//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they portray
BrE BrE//pɔːˈtreɪ//; NAmE NAmE//pɔːrˈtreɪ//he / she / it portrays
BrE BrE//pɔːˈtreɪz//; NAmE NAmE//pɔːrˈtreɪz//past simple portrayed
BrE BrE//pɔːˈtreɪd//; NAmE NAmE//pɔːrˈtreɪd//past participle portrayed
BrE BrE//pɔːˈtreɪd//; NAmE NAmE//pɔːrˈtreɪd//-ing form portraying
BrE BrE//pɔːˈtreɪɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//pɔːrˈtreɪɪŋ//Film reviews and promotion, Producing a play