1. In modern rhetoric, discourse that is intended to enable audiences to picture in their minds what something is like. One of the four rhetorical modes of discourse identified by Brooks and Warren as fulfilling basic human communicative purposes (compare argument; exposition; narration). It is a referential function of language (though it may be subjective or objective) and analogous to depiction in figurative art and representation in photographic media.
2. The representation of spatial relations rather than temporality, as distinguished from narration.