Definition of portrait parlé in English:

portrait parlé

(also portrait parle)

Pronunciation /ˌpɔːtreɪt ˈpɑːleɪ/ /ˌpɔːtreɪ pɑːˈleɪ/


  • A detailed description of a person's physical characteristics in mainly anthropometric terms, especially one of a type used in the identification of criminals.

    Developed by the French criminologist Alphonse Bertillon (1853–1914).


Early 20th century. From French portrait parlé, literally ‘spoken portrait’ from portrait + parlé, use as adjective of past participle of parler.