Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

harbor

[hahr-ber]
noun
  1. a part of a body of water along the shore deep enough for anchoring a ship and so situated with respect to coastal features, whether natural or artificial, as to provide protection from winds, waves, and currents.
  2. such a body of water having docks or port facilities.
  3. any place of shelter or refuge: The old inn was a harbor for tired travelers.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to give shelter to; offer refuge to: They harbored the refugees who streamed across the borders.
  2. to conceal; hide: to harbor fugitives.
  3. to keep or hold in the mind; maintain; entertain: to harbor suspicion.
  4. to house or contain.
  5. to shelter (a vessel), as in a harbor.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. (of a vessel) to take shelter in a harbor.
Show More
Also especially British, har·bour.

Origin of harbor

before 1150; Middle English herber(we), herberge, Old English herebeorg lodgings, quarters (here army + (ge)beorg refuge); cognate with German Herberge
Related formshar·bor·er, nounhar·bor·less, adjectivehar·bor·ous, adjectiveun·har·bored, adjective
Can be confuseddock harbor pier wharf

Synonyms for harbor

Synonym study

1. Harbor, haven, port indicate a shelter for ships. A harbor may be natural or artificially constructed or improved: a fine harbor on the eastern coast. A haven is usually a natural harbor that can be utilized by ships as a place of safety; the word is common in literary use: a haven in time of storm; a haven of refuge. A port is a harbor viewed especially in its commercial relations, though it is frequently applied in the meaning of harbor or haven also: a thriving port; any old port in a storm. 6. See cherish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for harborer

Historical Examples of harborer

  • Only as the bearer and harborer of Man do I not die, as notoriously "the king never dies."

    The Ego and His Own

    Max Stirner

  • This Bridge is a notorious confederate and harborer of horse-thieves and counterfeiters.

    Letters of a Traveller

    William Cullen Bryant


Word Origin and History for harborer

harbor

v.

Old English hereborgian, cognate with Old Norse herbergja, Old High German heribergon, Middle Dutch herbergen; see harbor (n.). Figuratively, of thoughts, etc., from late 14c. Related: Harbored; harboring.

Show More

harbor

n.

"lodging for ships," early 12c., probably from Old English herebeorg "lodgings, quarters," from here "army, host" (see harry) + beorg "refuge, shelter" (related to beorgan "save, preserve;" see bury); perhaps modeled on Old Norse herbergi "room, lodgings, quarters." Sense shifted in Middle English to "refuge, lodgings," then to "place of shelter for ships."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper