[pawr-chuh-geez, -gees, pohr-; pawr-chuh-geez, -gees, pohr-]


of, relating to, or characteristic of Portugal, its inhabitants, or their language.

noun, plural Por·tu·guese.

a native or inhabitant of Portugal.
a Romance language spoken in Portugal, Brazil, and a few countries of Africa. Abbreviation: Pg, Pg.

Origin of Portuguese

1580–90; < Portuguese português, Spanish portugués; see Portugal, -ese
Related formsnon-Por·tu·guese, adjective, noun, plural non·-Por·tu·guese.pro-Por·tu·guese, adjective, noun, plural pro·-Por·tu·guese.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for portuguese

insular, Catalan, Continental, French, Italian, Latin, Provencal, Spanish

Examples from the Web for portuguese

Contemporary Examples of portuguese

Historical Examples of portuguese

  • Spanish or Portuguese or English; it was always an unhappy ending for the Indians.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Our steward was a Portuguese negro, of the most vicious and surly temper.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The vessel was built of teak, and had been a frigate in the Portuguese service.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • I dined once with the Portuguese, and have given a brother of Tomasin's three fl.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • The interpreter, his countryman, called these Portuguese 'white gentlemen.'

British Dictionary definitions for portuguese



the official language of Portugal, its overseas territories, and Brazil: the native language of approximately 110 million people. It belongs to the Romance group of the Indo-European family and is derived from the Galician dialect of Vulgar Latin
plural -guese a native, citizen, or inhabitant of Portugal


relating to, denoting, or characteristic of Portugal, its inhabitants, or their language
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 portuguese



1610s, the language, or a resident, of Portugal; 1660s as an adjective, from Portuguese Portuguez (see Portugal + -ese). The ending was vulgarly mistaken for a plural in English, and false singular Portugee (1830) was formed (cf. Chinee from Chinese). For Portuguese man-of-war, see man-of-war.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper