[ kol-pawr-ter, -pohr-; French kawl-pawr-tœr ]
/ ˈkɒlˌpɔr tər, -ˌpoʊr-; French kɔl pɔrˈtœr /

noun, plural col·por·teurs [kol-pawr-terz; French kawl-pawr-tœr] /ˈkɒlˌpɔr tərz; French kɔl pɔrˈtœr/.

a person who travels to sell or publicize Bibles, religious tracts, etc.
a peddler of books.

Origin of colporteur

1790–1800; < French, equivalent to colport(er) (see colportage) + -eur -eur Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for colporteur

British Dictionary definitions for colporteur


/ (ˈkɒlˌpɔːtə, French kɔlpɔrtœr) /


a hawker of books, esp bibles

Derived Forms

colportage, noun

Word Origin for colporteur

C18: from French, from colporter, probably from Old French comporter to carry (see comport); influenced through folk etymology by porter à col to carry on one's neck
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012