• synonyms


[pawr-chuh-geez, -gees, pohr-; pawr-chuh-geez, -gees, pohr-]
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of Portugal, its inhabitants, or their language.
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noun, plural Por·tu·guese.
  1. a native or inhabitant of Portugal.
  2. a Romance language spoken in Portugal, Brazil, and a few countries of Africa. Abbreviation: Pg, Pg.
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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. 2018

Related Words for portuguese

insular, Catalan, Continental, French, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, 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


  1. 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
  2. plural -guese a native, citizen, or inhabitant of Portugal
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  1. relating to, denoting, or characteristic of Portugal, its inhabitants, or their language
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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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper