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porter

1
[pawr-ter, pohr-]
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noun
  1. a person hired to carry burdens or baggage, as at a railroad station or a hotel.
  2. a person who does cleaning and maintenance work in a building, factory, store, etc.
  3. an attendant in a railroad parlor car or sleeping car.
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Origin of porter

1
1350–1400; Middle English, variant of portour < Middle French porteour < Late Latin portātōr- (stem of portātor). See port5, -or2

porter

2
[pawr-ter, pohr-]
noun
  1. a person who has charge of a door or gate; doorkeeper.
  2. Roman Catholic Church. ostiary(def 1).
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Origin of porter

2
1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French < Late Latin portārius gatekeeper. See port4, -er2

porter

3
[pawr-ter, pohr-]
noun
  1. a heavy, dark-brown ale made with malt browned by drying at a high temperature.
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Origin of porter

3
First recorded in 1720–30; short for porter's ale, apparently orig. brewed for porters

Porter

[pawr-ter, pohr-]
noun
  1. Cole,1893–1964, U.S. composer.
  2. David,1780–1843, U.S. naval officer.
  3. his sonDavid Dix·on [dik-suh n] /ˈdɪk sən/, 1813–91, Union naval officer in the Civil War.
  4. Edwin Stanton,1870–1941, U.S. film director.
  5. GeneGene Stratton Porter, 1868–1924, U.S. novelist.
  6. Sir George,1920–2002, British chemist: Nobel prize 1967.
  7. Katherine Anne,1890–1980, U.S. writer.
  8. Noah,1811–92, U.S. educator, writer, and lexicographer.
  9. Rodney Robert,1917–85, British biochemist: Nobel Prize in medicine 1972.
  10. William SydneyO. Henry, 1862–1910, U.S. short-story writer.
  11. a male given name.
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port

2
[pawrt, pohrt]
noun
  1. the left-hand side of a vessel or aircraft, facing forward.
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adjective
  1. pertaining to or designating port.
  2. located on the left side of a vessel or aircraft.
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to turn or shift to the port, or left, side.
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Origin of port

2
First recorded in 1570–80; special use of port4
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for porter

gatekeeper, bellhop, bearer, concierge, carrier, transporter, janitor, redcap, doorkeeper, skycap

Examples from the Web for porter

Contemporary Examples of porter

Historical Examples of porter

  • To the porter who answered his ring he handed the message to be put off at the first stop.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "That mare'll beat him," retorted Porter, curtly, nettled by the other's cocksureness.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • He was Mike Gaynor, a trainer, and more than once Porter had stood his friend.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • "I don't want the horse—" began Porter; but Langdon interrupted him.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • There had been great unison in the Porter household over the placing of Alan.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser


British Dictionary definitions for porter

porter

1
noun
  1. a person employed to carry luggage, parcels, supplies, etc, esp at a railway station or hotel
  2. (in hospitals) a person employed to move patients from place to place
  3. US and Canadian a railway employee who waits on passengers, esp in a sleeper
  4. East African a manual labourer
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Word Origin for porter

C14: from Old French portour, from Late Latin portātōr, from Latin portāre to carry

porter

2
noun
  1. mainly British a person in charge of a gate or door; doorman or gatekeeper
  2. a person employed by a university or college as a caretaker and doorkeeper who also answers enquiries
  3. a person in charge of the maintenance of a building, esp a block of flats
  4. Also called: ostiary RC Church a person ordained to what was formerly the lowest in rank of the minor orders
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Word Origin for porter

C13: from Old French portier, from Late Latin portārius doorkeeper, from Latin porta door

porter

3
noun
  1. British a dark sweet ale brewed from black malt
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Word Origin for porter

C18: shortened from porter's ale, apparently because it was a favourite beverage of porters

Porter

noun
  1. Cole. 1893–1964, US composer and lyricist of musical comedies. His most popular songs include Night and Day and Let's do It
  2. George, Baron Porter of Luddenham. 1920–2002, British chemist, who shared a Nobel prize for chemistry in 1967 for his work on flash photolysis
  3. Katherine Anne. 1890–1980, US short-story writer and novelist. Her best-known collections of stories are Flowering Judas (1930) and Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939)
  4. Rodney Robert. 1917–85, British biochemist: shared the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine 1972 for determining the structure of an antibody
  5. William Sidney. original name of O. Henry
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port

1
noun
  1. a town or place alongside navigable water with facilities for the loading and unloading of ships
  2. See port of entry
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Word Origin for port

Old English, from Latin portus harbour, port

port

2
noun
  1. Also called (formerly): larboard
    1. the left side of an aircraft or vessel when facing the nose or bow
    2. (as modifier)the port bow Compare starboard (def. 1)
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verb
  1. to turn or be turned towards the port
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Word Origin for port

C17: origin uncertain

port

3
noun
  1. a sweet fortified dessert wine
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Word Origin for port

C17: after Oporto, Portugal, from where it came originally

port

4
noun
  1. nautical
    1. an opening in the side of a ship, fitted with a watertight door, for access to the holds
    2. See porthole (def. 1)
  2. a small opening in a wall, armoured vehicle, etc, for firing through
  3. an aperture, esp one controlled by a valve, by which fluid enters or leaves the cylinder head of an engine, compressor, etc
  4. electronics a logic circuit for the input and ouput of data
  5. mainly Scot a gate or portal in a town or fortress
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Word Origin for port

Old English, from Latin porta gate

port

5
verb
  1. (tr) to carry (a rifle, etc) in a position diagonally across the body with the muzzle near the left shoulder
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noun
  1. this position
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Word Origin for port

C14: from Old French, from porter to carry, from Latin portāre

port

6
verb
  1. (tr) computing to change (programs) from one system to another
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Word Origin for port

C20: probably from port 4

port

7
noun
  1. Australian (esp in Queensland) a suitcase or school case
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Word Origin for port

C20: shortened from portmanteau
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 porter

n.1

"person who carries," late 14c. (mid-13c. as a surname), from Anglo-French portour, Old French porteor "porter, bearer; reporter" (12c.), from Late Latin portatorem (nominative portator) "carrier, one who carries," from past participle stem of Latin portare "to carry" (see port (n.1)).

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n.2

"doorkeeper, janitor," mid-13c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Anglo-French portour, Old French portier "gatekeeper" (12c.), from Late Latin portarius "gatekeeper," from Latin porta "gate" (see port (n.2)).

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n.3

type of dark beer, 1734, short for porter's ale (1721), from porter (n.1), because the beer was made for or preferred by porters and other laborers, being cheap and strong.

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port

n.1

"harbor," Old English port "harbor, haven," reinforced by Old French port "harbor, port; mountain pass;" Old English and Old French words both from Latin portus "port, harbor," originally "entrance, passage," figuratively "place of refuge, assylum," from PIE *prtu- "a going, a passage," from root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over" (cf. Sanskrit parayati "carries over;" Greek poros "journey, passage, way," peirein "to pierce, run through;" Latin porta "gate, door," portare "passage," peritus "experienced;" Avestan peretush "passage, ford, bridge;" Armenian hordan "go forward;" Welsh rhyd "ford;" Old Church Slavonic pariti "to fly;" Old English faran "to go, journey," Old Norse fjörðr "inlet, estuary").

Meaning "left side of a ship" (looking forward from the stern) is attested from 1540s, from notion of "the side facing the harbor" (when a ship is docked). It replaced larboard in common usage to avoid confusion with starboard; officially so by Admiralty order of 1844 and U.S. Navy Department notice of 1846. Figurative sense "place of refuge" is attested from early 15c.; phrase any port in a storm first recorded 1749. A port of call (1810) is one paid a scheduled visit by a ship.

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port

n.2

"gateway," Old English port "portal, door, gate, entrance," from Old French porte "gate, entrance," from Latin porta "city gate, gate; door, entrance," from PIE root *per- (see port (n.1)). Specific meaning "porthole, opening in the side of a ship" is attested from c.1300.

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port

n.3

"bearing, mien," c.1300, from Old French port, from porter "to carry," from Latin portare (see port (n.1)).

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port

n.4

type of sweet dark-red wine, 1690s, shortened from Oporto, city in northwest Portugal from which the wine originally was shipped to England; from O Porto "the port;" (see port (n.1)).

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port

v.

"to carry," from Middle French porter, from Latin portare "to carry" (see port (n.1)). Related: Ported; porting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

porter in Medicine

Porter

(pôrtər)Rodney Robert 1917-1985
  1. British biochemist. He shared a 1972 Nobel Prize for his research on the chemical structure and nature of antibodies.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

porter in Science

Porter

[pôrtər]
  1. British biochemist who shared with George Edelman the 1972 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for their study of the chemical structure of antibodies.
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port

[pôrt]
  1. An opening, as in a cylinder or valve face, for the passage of steam or fluid.
  2. A place where data can pass into or out of a central processing unit, computer, or peripheral. With central processing units, a port is a fixed set of connections for incoming and outgoing data or instructions. With computers and peripherals, a port is generally a socket into which a connector can be plugged.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with porter

port

see any port in a storm.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.