Definition of portrayal in English:


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  • 1A depiction of someone or something in a work of art or literature.

    ‘a realistic portrayal of war’
    • ‘The Roosevelt Myth is a devastating portrayal of FDR.’
    • ‘The Greek middle classes fare not much better in Tsiolkas's simplistic, one-dimensional portrayal.’
    • ‘Thus, the portrayal of the story became the most important aspect.’
    • ‘The author also portrays Margaret's husband John not as the militant Protestant of some portrayals, but very supportive of his wife.’
    • ‘Many critics have lambasted the female characters in his plays as two-dimensional and unrealistic portrayals of subservient women.’
    • ‘"Growth of the Soil" is an Old Testament-style portrayal of stolid mountain dwellers.’
    • ‘The exhibition also contains some satirical portrayals of the British elite, which benefited from the salve trade, for example, Sir Foster Cunliffe by Yinka Shonibare of the U. K.’
    • ‘Just as predictably, their basis for that outrage is a highly dishonest portrayal of what Forrest writes.’
    • ‘The $25,000 award and specially designed National Portrait Gallery medal honor individual excellence in presidential service and portrayal.’
    • ‘The authors discuss Ngugi's Marxist approach as it informs his portrayal of the postcolony (elitism, class formation, corruption).’
    • ‘She has created books that provide true and positive portrayals of Black historical figures, heritage, and experiences.’
    • ‘The book is an amusing and evocative portrayal of his journey and his encounters with Indian babudom and other normal Indians on the way.’
    • ‘By combining complementary archeological, historical and ethnographic information, the author is, nevertheless, able to give a convincing portrayal of prehispanic Philippine chiefdoms.’
    • ‘Best known for his controversial portrayal of the Kennedys, he had later in his career earned fame for a different subject.’
    • ‘This book is a powerful portrayal of today's inner-city youth.’
    • ‘Studies of the portrayal of accountants and accounting in novels, movies, humour and satire, have already commenced.’
    painting, picture, drawing, portrait, sketch, representation, depiction, study, rendering, artist's impression
    representation, characterization, depiction, description, delineation, presentation, study, evocation
    performance as, acting, playing, enacting, representation, interpretation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A description of someone or something in a particular way; a representation.
      ‘the media portrayal of immigration’
      • ‘I had to cast aside my objections to the portrayal of some stereotypes.’
      • ‘Put simply, the David against Goliath scenario does not necessarily represent an accurate portrayal of the real conflict.’
      • ‘Without a doubt, Boys Don't Cry is the most devastating portrayal of violence done to women I have ever seen in a film.’
      • ‘Figure 5 is a portrayal of what we think is occurring.’
      • ‘Made in 1969, its portrayal of the Korean war was a thinly disguised reference to the contemporaneous conflict in Vietnam.’
      • ‘The staff called Cheshire to complain because of the film's portrayal of President Bush.’
      • ‘Individuals and organizations like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have made much of the lack of positive portrayals of gays in media.’
      • ‘Stories of vengeance and realistic portrayals of contemporary life came into fashion around this time.’
      • ‘What they usually do, however, is to sterilise debate with caricatured portrayals of evil, money-obsessed capitalists.’
      • ‘This was known as the ' Jim Crow ' system, named after earlier caricature portrayals of blacks.’
      • ‘However, I would suggest you have some misconceived conceptions about the gentility of World War II, or certainly its portrayal to the public.’
      • ‘In its portrayal of human relationships, it is in a league of its own.’
      • ‘Other portrayals were more careful to attribute the whipping to judicial sentencing by a court, or just punishment for running away.’
      • ‘Commercial portrayals of happy couples " present a pastoral utopia in which all rivals have been ruthlessly liquidated through a type of aesthetic genocide ".’
      • ‘Corporate sinners are seen as "safe" villains because their negative portrayal will not lead to significant minority group outrage.’
      • ‘I just don't see how denying that kind of portrayal can be anything other than a moral comment on homosexuality.’
      • ‘However, it is extremely rare to encounter a genuine crazy hollering his or her sickness over the rooftops - despite what popular portrayal may suggest.’
      • ‘A portrayal of modern American history as one vast and unending reactionary saga would be caricature of reality.’
      • ‘It makes television not only good television but it makes their portrayals more honest and real.’
    2. 1.2An instance of an actor playing a part in a movie or play; a performance.
      ‘his portrayal of the title character’
      • ‘What saves the film, without doubt, is Ben Kingsley's portrayal of Fagin, which is brilliant.’
      • ‘In the title role, Campbell Scott gives a wonderfully compelling portrayal.’
      • ‘Michael Schultz showed less refinement in his portrayal of William.’
      • ‘He was best known for his portrayal of fatherly roles in many TV dramas.’
      • ‘A little more delineation between the two sides of the character would have further advanced what was a fair portrayal.’
      • ‘Audiences are delighted by her portrayal of Brooks' crochety attitude.’
      • ‘William Shatner won for his portrayal of Denny Crane in Boston Legal.’
      • ‘Jones provides a trenchant portrayal of a boy in desperate pursuit of his dreams.’
      • ‘This is the best way I can praise this lady for a super portrayal.’
      • ‘For years George Cole has delighted TV and film audiences with his portrayal of cheeky conmen.’
      • ‘The book has been inspiration for both Cavanagh's production and Dibblee's portrayal.’
      • ‘Surprisingly, Paul Kaye as the erstwhile burglar Mike, give a relaxed and convincing portrayal of a working class intellectual.’
      • ‘But the real star was José van Dam as Hans Sach, whose singing was always impressive and his portrayal dignified.’
      • ‘Brown is a wonderful actor who has to fill some big shoes, and his portrayal of Viktor is both sympathetic and touching.’
      • ‘Fans of Jude Law will not be disappointed, as his vivid portrayal of a unique character is memorable.’
      • ‘However, it was Hope Brown's portrayal of the serial killer Lucius that dominated the proceedings.’
      • ‘Dench has been nominated for a best actress Oscar for her portrayal of British novelist Iris Murdoch's decline into Alzheimer's disease in the movie Iris.’
      • ‘I know it isn't politically correct, but I was impressed at the convincing portrayal.’
      • ‘Cruise's cool detachment as he watches a killing that will happen really adds to the genuine feeling of his portrayal.’
      • ‘His portrayal of a tortured child, brutally beaten into adult villainy gives depth to what is otherwise just your average mad, evil, genius hell-bent on destroying Earth.’
      • ‘The portrayal of the characters was good I thought.’
      • ‘The film was a close portrayal of the rise and fall of the stock market gangsters and insider dealers of the time.’



/pôrˈtrā(ə)l/ /pɔrˈtreɪ(ə)l/