portrait |ˈpɔːtrɪt| noun - a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, especially one depicting only the face or head and shoulders. a portrait of George III. [ as modifier ] : a portrait painter. • a representation or impression of someone or something in language or on film or television: the writer builds up a fascinating portrait of a community. denoting a format of printed matter which is higher than it is wide. you can print landscape and portrait pages in the same document. Compare with landscape ( sense 2 of the noun). ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French, past participle (used as a noun) of Old French portraire ‘portray’.