Definition of portraiture in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpɔːtrɪtʃə/


[mass noun]
1The art of painting or taking portraits: Ingres is a master of portraiture
More example sentences
  • The panel received little in the way of direct attention at this time; indeed, Romantic-era understandings of art history and portraiture were not conducive to an appreciation of the panel.
  • This exhibit focuses on the art genre of portraiture.
  • While employed by major commercial studios in Pittsburgh, Detroit and Toronto, he continued his studies of fine art, specializing in portraiture, figure, and plein air landscape painting.
1.1Vivid and detailed description: his strength as a novelist lay in his portraiture of upper-class families
More example sentences
  • The strong undertone of moral earnestness, never preached, gives a stability and force to the vivid portraiture, and prevents the satiric touches from degenerating into mere malice.
  • While there are a few, very minor factual errors, the general span and scope of the book, not to mention the detailed portraiture of the ballerina in her world, are admirable.
  • In America, this director's heartfelt portrait of a family in crisis, waits patiently for much of its running time before explicitly acknowledging its portraiture of spirituality in crisis.
1.2 [count noun] formal A portrait.
Example sentences
  • Like little portraitures and landscapes, they give the reader glimpses into people and places long since gone.
  • Undoubtedly, the author's unique use of newspapers, portraitures, plantation records and diaries, and traveler's accounts, allows readers to get a glimpse of slaves' own insights regarding their nightmarish circumstance.
  • The dominant trend in African American portraitures, however, has been created and nurtured by succeeding generations of white imagemakers, beginning as far back as the colonial era.


Late Middle English: from Old French, from portrait (see portrait).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: por¦trait|ure

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.