[pawr-trey, pohr-] /pɔrˈtreɪ, poʊr-/

verb (used with object)
to make a likeness of by drawing, painting, carving, or the like.
to depict in words; describe graphically.
to represent dramatically, as on the stage:
He portrayed Napoleon in the play.
verb (transitive)
to represent in a painting, drawing, sculpture, etc; make a portrait of
to make a verbal picture of; depict in words
to play the part of (a character) in a play or film

mid-13c., “to draw, paint” (something), from Anglo-French purtraire, Old French portraire “to draw, to paint, portray” (12c.), literally “trace, draw forth,” from por- “forth” (from Latin pro-; see pro-) + traire “trace, draw,” from Latin trahere “to drag, draw” (see tract (n.1)). Meaning “depict in words, describe” is from late 14c. Related: Portrayed; portraying.


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