• synonyms


[pawr, pohr]
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verb (used without object), pored, por·ing.
  1. to read or study with steady attention or application: a scholar poring over a rare old manuscript.
  2. to gaze earnestly or steadily: to pore over a painting.
  3. to meditate or ponder intently (usually followed by over, on, or upon): He pored over the strange events of the preceding evening.
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Origin of pore1

1250–1300; Middle English pouren < ?
Can be confusedpause paws pores pours


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[pawr, pohr]
  1. a minute opening or orifice, as in the skin or a leaf, for perspiration, absorption, etc.
  2. a minute interstice, as in a rock.
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Origin of pore2

1350–1400; Middle English poore < Late Latin porus < Greek póros passage; see emporium, ford
Related formspore·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for pore

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Well, you may; you can take your books to the library, and have a long evening to pore over them.

  • I sank upon the steps; every pore in my body was a fountain of cold sweat: "Have whom?"

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • Perspiring from every pore, we labour manfully on to the bitter end.

  • In each group the spores are borne on the lining of the pore.

  • "Let me put the pore thing to bed; she's allus used to me," said the woman piteously.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for pore


verb (intr)
  1. (foll by over) to make a close intent examination or study (of a book, map, etc)he pored over the documents for several hours
  2. (foll by over, on, or upon) to think deeply (about)he pored on the question of their future
  3. (foll by over, on, or upon) rare to look earnestly or intently (at); gaze fixedly (upon)
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Word Origin

C13 pouren; perhaps related to peer ²


See pour


  1. anatomy zoology any small opening in the skin or outer surface of an animal
  2. botany any small aperture, esp that of a stoma through which water vapour and gases pass
  3. any other small hole, such as a space in a rock, soil, etc
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Word Origin

C14: from Late Latin porus, from Greek poros passage, pore
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

Word Origin and History for pore


"gaze intently," early 13c., of unknown origin, with no obvious corresponding word in Old French. Perhaps from Old English *purian, suggested by spyrian "to investigate, examine," and spor "a trace, vestige." Related: Pored; poring.

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"minute opening," late 14c., from Old French pore (14c.) and directly from Latin porus "a pore," from Greek poros "a pore," literally "passage, way," from PIE *por- "going, passage," from root *per- "to lead, pass over" (see port (n.1)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pore in Medicine


  1. A minute opening in an animal or plant tissue.
  2. One of the minute openings of the sweat glands of the skin.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

pore in Science


  1. A tiny opening, as one in an animal's skin or on the surface of a plant leaf or stem, through which liquids or gases may pass.
  2. A space in soil, rock, or loose sediment that is not occupied by mineral matter and allows the passage or absorption of fluids, such as water, petroleum, or air.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.