[ hahr-ber ]
/ ˈhɑr bər /

noun, verb (used with or without object) Chiefly British.

Usage note

See -or1.

Definition for harbour (2 of 2)


[ hahr-ber ]
/ ˈhɑr bər /


verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

(of a vessel) to take shelter in a harbor.
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 forms

har·bor·er, nounhar·bor·less, adjectivehar·bor·ous, adjectiveun·har·bored, adjective

Can be confused

dock harbor pier wharf

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for harbour

British Dictionary definitions for harbour


US harbor

/ (ˈhɑːbə) /


a sheltered port
a place of refuge or safety


(tr) to give shelter toto harbour a criminal
(tr) to maintain secretlyto harbour a grudge
to shelter (a vessel) in a harbour or (of a vessel) to seek shelter

Derived Forms

harbourer or US harborer, nounharbourless or US harborless, adjective

Word Origin for harbour

Old English herebeorg, from here troop, army + beorg shelter; related to Old High German heriberga hostelry, Old Norse herbergi
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