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See also: Portrait


The Mona Lisa, a portrait.
Portrait layout

Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle French portraict, pourtraict, nominal use of the past participle of portraire (portray), from Latin prōtrahō.



portrait (countable and uncountable, plural portraits)

  1. (countable) A painting or other picture of a person, especially the head and shoulders.
    • a. 1792, Joshua Reynolds, Discourses on Painting and the Fine Arts
      In portraits, the grace, and, we may add, the likeness, consists more in the general air than in the exact similitude of every feature.
  2. (countable, figuratively) An accurate depiction of a person, a mood, etc.
    The author painted a good portrait of urban life in New York in his latest book.
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], Francesca Carrara. [], volume I, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, pages 232–233:
      She showed me her portrait, written by herself. I only remember what she states of her mouth, which, she says, was not only beautiful and red, but had a thousand little natural airs and graces not to be found in any other mouth. Oh, I must not forget her figure, which, she assured the reader, was the best-made and the finest that could be seen: nothing could be more regular, more graceful, or more easy.
  3. (computing, printing) A print orientation where the vertical sides are longer than the horizontal sides.


Related terms[edit]



portrait (third-person singular simple present portraits, present participle portraiting, simple past and past participle portraited)

  1. (obsolete) To portray; to draw.
    • 1579, Immeritô [pseudonym; Edmund Spenser], The Shepheardes Calender: [], London: [] Hugh Singleton, [], →OCLC; reprinted as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, The Shepheardes Calender [], London: John C. Nimmo, [], 1890, →OCLC:
      But all as in most exquisite pictures, they vse to blaze and portrait, not only the daintie lineaments or beautie, but also round about it to shadowe the rude thickets and craggy clifts


portrait (not comparable)

  1. Representing the actual features of an individual; not ideal.
    a portrait bust; a portrait statue




portrait m (plural portraits)

  1. portrait
  2. (printing) portrait (format)
    Antonym: paysage
  3. description (of a person or things)

Derived terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]



portrait m (plural portraits)

  1. (Jersey) portrait