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verb [transitive] British English pronunciation: portray /pɔː(r)ˈtreɪ/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participleportraying
past tenseportrayed
past participleportrayed
  1. 1
    to show or describe someone or something in a particular way
    portray someone as something:

    Opponents portray the president as weak and ineffectual.

    portray someone in a good/bad light (=make them seem good or bad):

    The newspapers want to portray the project in the worst possible light.

    1. a.
      to show something by featuring it in a film, book, play etc

      The book portrays Caribbean society against a background of the French Revolution.

hostile architecture

the design of buildings or public spaces in a way which discourages people from touching, climbing or sitting on them …

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boots on the ground

a situation in which a country's armed forces are physically present in an area of conflict …

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