[ pawrt-hohl, pohrt- ]
/ ˈpɔrtˌhoʊl, ˈpoʊrt- /


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

British Dictionary definitions for porthole


/ (ˈpɔːtˌhəʊl) /


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