- a city, town, or other place where ships load or unload.
- a place along a coast in which ships may take refuge from storms; harbor.
- Also called port of entry. Law. any place where persons and merchandise are allowed to pass, by water or land, into and out of a country and where customs officers are stationed to inspect or appraise imported goods.
- a geographical area that forms a harbor: the largest port on the eastern seaboard.
- Informal. an airport.
Origin of port1
- a town or place alongside navigable water with facilities for the loading and unloading of ships
- See port of entry
- Also called (formerly): larboard
- the left side of an aircraft or vessel when facing the nose or bow
- (as modifier)the port bow Compare starboard (def. 1)
- to turn or be turned towards the port
- a sweet fortified dessert wine
- an opening in the side of a ship, fitted with a watertight door, for access to the holds
- See porthole (def. 1)
- a small opening in a wall, armoured vehicle, etc, for firing through
- an aperture, esp one controlled by a valve, by which fluid enters or leaves the cylinder head of an engine, compressor, etc
- electronics a logic circuit for the input and ouput of data
- mainly Scot a gate or portal in a town or fortress
- (tr) to carry (a rifle, etc) in a position diagonally across the body with the muzzle near the left shoulder
- this position
- (tr) computing to change (programs) from one system to another
- Australian (esp in Queensland) a suitcase or school case
Word Origin and History for portless
"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.
"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.
"bearing, mien," c.1300, from Old French port, from porter "to carry," from Latin portare (see port (n.1)).
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)).
"to carry," from Middle French porter, from Latin portare "to carry" (see port (n.1)). Related: Ported; porting.
- An opening, as in a cylinder or valve face, for the passage of steam or fluid.
- 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.
Idioms and Phrases with portless
see any port in a storm.