Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


tr.v. por·trayed, por·tray·ing, por·trays
1. To depict or represent pictorially; make a picture of: The painter portrays a typical country scene.
2. To describe or represent in words: The author portrays the world of the fantastically wealthy.
3. To describe or depict in a certain way: The book portrays her as hardworking and driven.
4. To represent dramatically, as on the stage: The actor portrays an obsessed lover in the film.

[Middle English portraien, from Old French portraire : por-, forth (from Latin prō-, forth; see pro-1) + traire, to draw (from Latin trahere, to drag).]

por·tray′a·ble adj.
por·tray′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.portrayer - a painter or drawer of portraitsportrayer - a painter or drawer of portraits  
painter - an artist who paints
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
London, where most of his novels are wholly or chiefly located, has in him its chief and most comprehensive portrayer.
At the opening night ceremony, Alex Trebek was honored in absentia with the DAR Americanism Award, and the ceremony featured a performance by Dean Malissa, the world's leading portrayer of George Washington.
Robert Iger, chairman and chief executive of The Walt Disney Company, wrote on Twitter: "The @WaltDisneyCo mourns the loss of our beloved #chewbacca portrayer, #PeterMayhew.
International Business Times asked his portrayer, Ryan Potter.
"It's fascinating to tread in the footsteps of such a historic figure," says Olaf Maurer, 50, the society's president and chief portrayer of Holmes, and who stands an impressive 2 metres tall.
In Jungle, former Harry Potter portrayer Daniel Radcliffe stars as Yossi Ghinsberg, an Israeli adventurer who survived for three weeks when he was stranded alone in the Bolivian Amazon in 1981, in this new thriller.
Steven Holgate, a professional author, actor and Lincoln portrayer, gives a compelling performance as the president in "Town Hall With Abraham Lincoln."
One has to feel bad to some degree for Sheryl Lee, portrayer of Laura Palmer and her brunette cousin Maddie Ferguson, whose main career highlights consist of being murdered or playing dead on this show.
Rather, the difference often lies in the artistic contract between the portrayer and the portrayed: conscious or unconscious negotiations that invest black subjects with social capital.
On the train the pair meet the thuggish Sang-hwa (mainstay gangster villain portrayer Ma Dong-seok) and his pregnant wife Sung-kyu (Jung Yu-mi), a pair of elderly sisters, a homeless vagrant, and a teenage couple who have joined their school's baseball team for a tournament.
"The first year, we couldn't really be in the same area together," says Matt Borlenghi, Brian's portrayer. "I was in my early 20s asking, 'How do I bring "Brando" to daytime?' I saw Kelly as this young girl with way too much energy.
The success of any first-person portrayal comes down to four things: the quality and accuracy of the costume, the portrayer's background knowledge of the events and time period represented, the performance skills of the portrayer, and the strength of the narrative, or how well the story is constructed.