Meaning of “portrait” in the English Dictionary

"portrait" in British English

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portraitnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈpɔː.trət/ /ˈpɔː.treɪt/ us /ˈpɔːr.trɪt/

B2 a painting, photograph, drawing, etc. of a person or, less commonly, of a group of people:

She's commissioned an artist to paint her portrait/paint a portrait of her.
a portrait gallery
a portrait painter

A film or book that is a portrait of something describes or represents that thing in a detailed way:

Her latest novel paints a very vivid portrait of the aristocracy in the 1920s.

More examples

  • an exceptionally fine portrait
  • a lifelike portrait of the queen
  • The portrait was finished after only three sittings.
  • It was said that the portrait was a very true likeness of her.
  • The movie paints a very vivid portrait of family life during the 1950's.

portraitadjective

uk /ˈpɔː.trət/ /ˈpɔː.treɪt/ us /ˈpɔːr.trɪt/

(Definition of “portrait” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"portrait" in American English

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portraitnoun [ C ]

us /ˈpɔr·trət, ˈpoʊr-/

A portrait is also a description or representation of something:

The book paints a grim portrait of wartime suffering.

(Definition of “portrait” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"portrait" in Business English

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portraitadjective

uk /ˈpɔːtreɪt/ us IT

used to describe a computer document that is to be printed with the shorter side of the paper at the top and bottom:

The design was intended to be distributed in printed form, so the pages are laid out for printing in A4 portrait format.
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(Definition of “portrait” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)