• synonyms


[pawrt-lee, pohrt-]
See more synonyms for portly on Thesaurus.com
adjective, port·li·er, port·li·est.
  1. rather heavy or fat; stout; corpulent.
  2. Archaic. stately, dignified, or imposing.
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Origin of portly

1520–30; port5 (noun) + -ly
Related formsport·li·ness, nounun·port·ly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for portliness

overweight, fatness, bulk, plumpness, chubbiness, breadth, weight, flesh, largeness, size, grossness, protuberance, inflation, corpulence, heaviness, obesity, girth, distension, bulkiness, adiposity

Examples from the Web for portliness

Historical Examples of portliness

  • Considering their enormous appetites, their portliness seems only natural.

    Birds in London

    W. H. Hudson

  • And Tommy Chadwick stood in all his portliness on the platform.

  • The personage was also of a portliness, and the collision had knocked the wind out of him.

    Helmet of Navarre

    Bertha Runkle

  • Mr. Newsome was tall and broad and well on the way to portliness.

    Rose of Old Harpeth

    Maria Thompson Daviess

  • Suddenly he laid his hat back, and drew up his form into as near a semblance of dignity as its portliness would allow.

    A Strange Disappearance

    Anna Katharine Green

British Dictionary definitions for portliness


adjective -lier or -liest
  1. stout or corpulent
  2. archaic stately; impressive
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Derived Formsportliness, noun

Word Origin for portly

C16: from port 5 (in the sense: deportment, bearing)
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 portliness



early 15c., "stately, dignified," from port (n.3) "bearing, carriage" + -ly (1). Meaning "stout" is first recorded 1590s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper