[pawrt-hohl, pohrt-]


a round, windowlike opening with a hinged, watertight glass cover in the side of a vessel for admitting air and light.Compare port4(def 1).
an opening in a wall, door, etc., as one through which to shoot.

Origin of porthole

First recorded in 1585–95; port4 + hole
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for porthole

Contemporary Examples of porthole

Historical Examples of porthole

  • A porthole, with the black heavens and the blazing stars, was before her.

  • He looked around the fixed cabin and out the porthole at the unmoving stars.

    Death Wish

    Robert Sheckley

  • He lowered a tender gaze on his banjo and I went on looking through the porthole.

    Some Reminiscences

    Joseph Conrad

  • He stood there, looking out the porthole, and forgot I was there.

    The Stoker and the Stars

    Algirdas Jonas Budrys (AKA John A. Sentry)

  • "You were right about the porthole, Robert," I said, and I gave him the promised sovereign.

    The Upper Berth

    Francis Marion Crawford

British Dictionary definitions for porthole



a small aperture in the side of a vessel to admit light and air, usually fitted with a watertight glass or metal cover, or bothSometimes shortened to: port
an opening in a wall or parapet through which a gun can be fired; embrasure
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 porthole

also port-hole, 1590s, from port (n.2) + hole (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper