• synonyms


[pawr-tris, pohr-]
  1. a woman who has charge of a door or gate; a female doorkeeper.
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Also porteress.

Origin of portress

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at porter2, -ess

Usage note

See -ess.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for portress

Historical Examples

  • I ran, rang, and being recognized by the portress, was at once admitted.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • The portress at the house in the Rue Montmartre is the most obliging woman in the world.

    The Champdoce Mystery

    Emile Gaboriau

  • And the portress looked as though she were resolved to obey her master's orders.

    The Bertrams

    Anthony Trollope

  • The portress was expecting him, and he was admitted without a word.

  • The sisters are asleep, except the portress, who will be far away.

British Dictionary definitions for portress


  1. a female porter, esp a doorkeeper
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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