Main definitions of port in English

: port1port2port3port4port5port6

port1

noun

  • 1A town or city with a harbour or access to navigable water where ships load or unload.

    ‘the French port of Toulon’
    [in place names] ‘Port Elizabeth’
    • ‘I like the heritage aspect - that from day one Sydney Harbour was a working port and the city's commercial lifeline to the world.’
    • ‘Floating cranes are used to load and unload non-self-sustaining containerships at ports that do not have gantry cranes.’
    • ‘In Roman times there was a port and market town a little further north, at Caistor, and a small fort at Burgh Castle; these were later abandoned.’
    • ‘Once the pair found a suitable location, they used the ice as a berth - there are not too many major ports or harbours in this inhospitable part of the world.’
    • ‘In port cities and beach towns on the Indian Ocean, people were moving through the dark Monday, moving away from the water.’
    • ‘There wasn't much food or water outside the main port cities where the Guild happens to have auction houses.’
    • ‘Beginning on July 1, 1999, ships entering American ports from foreign waters will have to report whether they have exchanged ballast offshore.’
    • ‘Over 33 ships are waiting at Colombian ports to load and unload cargo.’
    • ‘In the fourteenth century the limits of agricultural expansion had been reached in East Anglia and there were now a much larger number of market towns and ports competing for trade.’
    • ‘The ship's diving team took the opportunity to progress continuation training in the pristine 31 degrees Celsius waters around the port.’
    • ‘Approaching the fine port cities from the water puts them in a far more favourable light than arriving by road or through an airport.’
    • ‘Cape Town is a working port, but the waterfront area is one of the city's major attractions - evidenced by the profusion of shops, bars and restaurants there.’
    • ‘From here the view over the city, the old port and the old town, down to the sea are stupendous.’
    • ‘British agents developed a one-man midget submarine specifically to target enemy shipping anchored in ports or inshore waters.’
    • ‘Voting patterns suggest that market towns, such as ports and cities located on rivers, favored penitentiaries.’
    • ‘These are the two main navigable waterways leading to ports in Iraq.’
    • ‘Some of the market towns and ports had a local prosperity but none, with the exception of Durham, was given representation in Parliament.’
    • ‘It was centred on Garden Island Sydney but involved ports and civilian harbour controllers around Australia.’
    • ‘The yachts sailed from Sydney up the east coast to Townsville, stopping at the ports of Coffs Harbour, Brisbane, Bundaberg and Mackay and returned along the same route.’
    • ‘A watchful eye is constantly kept by the patrol on the waters outside the base port.’
    seaport, port city, port town
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A harbour.
      [as modifier] ‘Belfast's port facilities’
      • ‘They are now about 120 miles from the key port of San Pedro on the south coast.’
      • ‘The mammoth task will see the girls swim an amazing 21 miles from the port of Folkestone for another British landing on the beaches of Normandy at Cap Gris Nez.’
      • ‘Our call was in the nearby port facility of Puerto Cones, which served as a launching point for excursions to the nearby Mayan ruins.’
      • ‘Speaking of Umm Qasr, work continues on the upgrade of the port facilities.’
      • ‘The project will focus on six ports including Milford Haven, Pembroke Dock and Fishguard in Pembrokeshire and Rosslare, Waterford and New Ross in South East Ireland.’
      • ‘The famous five-star resort used to get its internationally renowned shellfish from local fishermen who brought in fresh supplies daily from local ports such as Girvan.’
      • ‘Two other rockets were fired from the same warehouse, which is located in the hills on Aqaba's northern edge about five miles from the port.’
      • ‘The bank said the project will focus on road repairs, restoring electricity and expanding the port of the East Timor capital Dili.’
      • ‘It took more than four weeks for the container to reach Iquique, a Chilean port about 150 miles south of Arica.’
      • ‘Over the past four years, Namibia has invested significantly in upgrading the port at Walvis Bay and to a lesser extent, at Lüderitz.’
      • ‘The special facilities, which could be drained to allow repairs on ships' hulls, have been closed and the heavy machinery dismantled and moved to Liverpool's port.’
      • ‘We want to paddle about 120 miles from the sugar port of Caibarién, on the central north coast, westward to a tourist resort called Varadero.’
      • ‘It was true that sea going craft were not so often seen at York staithes as they once were, but many steamers plied from the Humber to the walls of York, and York was still an open port, though 80 miles from the sea.’
      • ‘Proposals to construct a 12-mile causeway between the ports of Barrow and Heysham were this week submitted to Lancaster City and Barrow Borough Councils.’
      • ‘The wood is transported from the forests to the port of Ardrishaig by road and then south by sea, sometimes via Campbeltown to pick up timber, to Ayr and onto the buyer.’
      • ‘Top priority went to a planned link road between the port of Heysham and the M6 motorway, but that scheme has run into major planning difficulties that have stopped it dead.’
      • ‘A short distance before Banyas, once a Phoenician port, 34 miles south of Latakia, we saw the enormous citadel of Marqab towering atop a mountain.’
      • ‘Jenny can remember back to the 1930s, a time when Harbourville was a bustling port.’
      • ‘At least 65 of the electricity transmission towers supplying the port of Umm Qasr and the southern oilfields have been destroyed.’
      • ‘According to the military report, Blanco was killed on September 13 and his body thrown into the sea on the same day 10 miles from the port of San Antonio.’

Phrases

  • any port in a storm

    • proverb In adverse circumstances one welcomes any source of relief or escape.

      ‘Dora's eye fell on him—any port in a storm’
      • ‘I didn't know where all the newfound energy came from, but any port in a storm.’
      • ‘Now admittedly, there was a small number of young eligible male teens involved in this world, and only about the same number of young females so I suspect it was any port in a storm in her view.’
  • port of entry

    • A harbour or airport where customs officers are stationed to oversee people and goods entering or leaving a country.

      • ‘The interviews are conducted at three levels: at overseas representative offices, at ports of entry such as airports and the seaports involved in the ‘small three links’ and at home after the couple have entered the country.’
      • ‘If you're a customs inspector at a port of entry you can send photos of cargos and manifests back to the office where someone can check them against computer records.’
      • ‘Hilo, the main port, is an official port of entry but it has a number of drawbacks.’
      • ‘Southern border overflight exemptions, which allow users to bypass the nearest port of entry and proceed to another airport to clear customs, have not been affected.’
      • ‘Although the findings are supportive of the work of government agencies some of her observations shed light on the wholly subjective character of the work of immigration officers at different ports of entry into Britain.’
      • ‘The administration has gained expanded powers to investigate and detain people suspected of terrorist links, has reorganized the way the government defends US borders and has increased security at airports and other ports of entry.’
      • ‘Ambouli International Airport is the only port of entry to Djibouti and is located within Djibouti City.’
      • ‘Ted Stevens International Airport is the only port of entry to Anchorage and is located about 20 minutes southwest of the base.’
      • ‘International travellers who are suspected of smuggling drugs or carrying weapons are being offered the body scanner as an alternative to a physical pat-down or frisk when they pass through ports of entry at airports across the country.’
      • ‘Such a force would bring together the local police with immigration and Customs officers at our airports and ports of entry.’

Origin

Old English, from Latin portus haven, harbour, reinforced in Middle English by Old French.

Pronunciation:

port

/pɔːt/

Main definitions of port in English

: port1port2port3port4port5port6

port2

(also port wine)

noun

  • [mass noun] A strong, sweet dark red (occasionally brown or white) fortified wine, originally from Portugal, typically drunk as a dessert wine.

    ‘they settled down to a final glass of port’
    [count noun] ‘tawny ports do not need decanting’
    • ‘I don't care for sherry, one cannot drink stout and port is a wine I can well do without’
    • ‘Once you have made it to the next floor there are chairs for reading and tastings of local port wine.’
    • ‘On his deathbed he ordered two pigeons, three steaks, a bottle of wine, a glass of champagne, two glasses of port and a glass of brandy.’
    • ‘I wished for some kick in the red-chile steak butter I asked for with my bison filet, as a substitute for the advertised port wine sauce.’
    • ‘I also ate the most wonderful soup there - a richly flavoured cream of pumpkin soup with port wine.’
    • ‘In particular, I want to drive up the Douro valley from Porto to the vineyards where the grapes for port wine are grown, and I want to see more of the estuaries of the Galician coast.’
    • ‘For the port sorbet, in a medium bowl, combine the port, water, and the simple syrup and whisk to combine.’
    • ‘Would I pour my water into my white wine glass, red wine into my port glass or the whole lot over the tablecloth?’
    • ‘Whisky is always kept in oak casks that have already stored another alcoholic beverage: usually bourbon or sherry, occasionally port and Madeira.’
    • ‘You also have to look at alcoholic drinks that are high in sugars like sweet wine, port, liqueurs and beer.’
    • ‘A proper starter should have a bit of a punch to it, which is exactly what the strong bacon and sweet port dressing delivered.’
    • ‘Many of the wineries located here offer free port wine tastings and tours.’
    • ‘Apart from the seasonal connotations that cinnamon, oranges, Stilton and mulled port wine have, I think Stilton might make an even tangier and more contrasting accompaniment to the sweet jelly.’
    • ‘Further upstream, the river winds its way through the steep hills and terraced vineyards of the Upper Douro port wine region.’
    • ‘The fact is that when we had a big debate on port and sherry wine, those members were not here in the Chamber.’
    • ‘Drain nearly all the fat from the roasting pan; add the port and boil the liquid down until it is 2 to 3 tablespoons.’
    • ‘He admits his recollection of that day of liberation 60 years ago is cloudy; one of the clearest memories is leaving the camp and picking up two bottles of port wine found abandoned in a basement.’
    • ‘They eat like George IV, a man who regularly breakfasted on three steaks and two pigeons, a bottle of German wine, a glass of champagne, two glasses of port, and a glass of brandy.’
    • ‘Among the poorer people, port wine is used for toasting the couple.’
    • ‘He's got a mixture of clarets, red and white Burgundies, ports and Australian and South African wines.’
    • ‘After dinner, led by a hired piano player, the guests retired for some singing and port wine.’

Origin

Shortened form of Oporto, a major port from which the wine is shipped.

Pronunciation:

port

/pɔːt/

Main definitions of port in English

: port1port2port3port4port5port6

port3

noun

  • The side of a ship or aircraft that is on the left when one is facing forward.

    ‘the ferry was listing to port’
    The opposite of starboard
    [as modifier] ‘the port side of the aircraft’
    • ‘Three machine guns can be mounted on the helicopter: two in the crew door on the starboard side and one window-mounted on the port side.’
    • ‘Right at the front of the bow one can look back along both the upper port and lower starboard sides of the hull.’
    • ‘Below deck there is a v-berth forward, port and starboard quarter berths and sitting head room.’
    • ‘Both the port and starboard side of the ship have a liquid cargo and solids replenishment station.’
    • ‘They are installed two on the stern deck and one each on the port and starboard side of the flight deck.’
    • ‘One of them noticed an object in the water outboard and to port of the wake, astern of the vessel.’
    • ‘The two four-cylinder launchers are installed on the missile deck, set in a crossed configuration with one facing starboard and one facing port side.’
    • ‘There is a navigation station between the head and the settee and a double quarter berth cabin aft along the port side.’
    • ‘There is a seven-foot-long V-berth forward by a port head and starboard hanging locker.’
    • ‘Aft of the forward stateroom is a second port side stateroom with private entrance and what I would describe as a large single or small double berth.’
    • ‘As the boat was swinging from a port to a starboard tack, one of the ladies stood up and turned directly into the oncoming boom.’
    • ‘Look closer and you'll notice the port and starboard navigation lights, and the knot meter lined up next to the speedo and rev counter on the dash.’
    • ‘This was used to correct some minor problems discovered on the starboard side while assembling the port side.’
    • ‘Pressure and gravity refueling receptacles are installed in the aft port fuel cell.’
    • ‘The system also has three flank arrays on both the port and starboard sides and an intercept sonar.’
    • ‘Two mounts are located on the port and starboard side at the bow of the craft, and a single mount is centered along the back bulkhead.’
    • ‘I allowed this job to begin without the right number of people, and I allowed a blind spot to develop on the port side of the aircraft.’
    • ‘The lumbering shuttle lazily side slipped from port to starboard and back in futile attempts to shake off pursuit.’
    • ‘The bow rested on its starboard side, the port anchor still in place on the steel hull.’
    • ‘The whales surfaced again about half a mile off the port beam, having dived beneath us, then turned north and headed towards Mazatlan.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Turn (a ship or its helm) to port.

    ‘the yacht immediately raised all sail and ported her helm’
    • ‘Reaching the dock where my ship was being ported, Steve and I got on board.’
    • ‘The US Supreme Court has heard a case concerning whether the Americans With Disabilities Act applies to foreign cruise ships porting in US harbors.’
    • ‘The captain slowed and ported the vessel to pass around the monolith, and everyone took a good look at the horrid idol.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: probably originally the side containing an entry port or facing the port (quayside) for loading.

Pronunciation:

port

/pɔːt/

Main definitions of port in English

: port1port2port3port4port5port6

port4

noun

  • 1An opening in the side of a ship for boarding or loading.

    • ‘The dull thuds of boarding shuttles connecting to the liner's docking ports reverberated through the ship.’
    • ‘Then came the rumbling of the heavy artillery being rolled down the street to the loading ports; the men in the way scattering like flies.’
    • ‘Once you learn to avoid the numerous ports and hatches, you will find this a very safe and easy deck to move about on, particularly while sailing at normal angles of heel.’
    1. 1.1A porthole.
      ‘the cabin has rectangular ports set just below sheer in each quarter’
      • ‘Deck hardware and fixed cabin ports are bronze and there are teak louvered doors leading to the cabin.’
      • ‘Aside from the companionway, there is no ventilation, windows or ports so if the companionway were to be closed in inclement weather the cabin would get uncomfortable.’
      • ‘He stared out the port a long time before he heard her come below.’
    2. 1.2An opening in the body of an aircraft or in a wall or armoured vehicle through which a gun may be fired.
      • ‘Painting was again delayed due to a need to re-do gun port fairings along with some antenna work.’
      • ‘Crowstep gables and a small gun port in the back wall are a structural reminder of the transition from fortified house to mansion.’
      • ‘The infantry enter and leave the vehicle by two rear doors which are provided with firing ports.’
      • ‘As a dream, the concept can be dated back at least to Leonardo da Vinci, who doodled a round, wheeled, armoured vehicle with cannon firing out of ports.’
      • ‘There are seven ball-swivel firing ports in the vehicle hull, four on the right and three on the left side of the vehicle, as well as ports in the upper hatches of the firing compartment.’
      • ‘Their state-of-the-art ships and small boats are equipped to handle grand-scale disasters and to fight fires both in and out of the port.’
      • ‘There are two heavy guns on the outer wall that are just inside the outer mouth of the port.’
      • ‘The second portion was the leading edge of the outboard panels and these were all metal and housed the gun ports.’
      • ‘The gun port was twice its normal size, with jagged wooden chards to frame the opening.’
      • ‘We were to learn that these were rocket tubes to be mounted under the wings, between the gear leg and the gun ports.’
      • ‘The gas generated when the cartridge is fired flows through the port and along a channel beneath the barrel.’
      • ‘The guns were set inside of hills, beneath reinforced concrete bomb shields, and concealed behind immense iron firing ports.’
      • ‘He slipped through the space between the gun port and the cannon, and he was in.’
      • ‘She grabbed up a coil of rope on her way up the ladder and looked out over the side of the boat, then tied one end of the rope around the mainmast and dropped it through the gun port.’
      • ‘In a gas gun, the pressure is bled off through a small hole, a gas port, somewhere down the barrel, usually at the end of the magazine.’
      • ‘An empty gun port provides similar access to the interior of the wreck.’
    3. 1.3An opening for the passage of steam, liquid, or gas.
      ‘loss of fuel from the exhaust port’
      • ‘Turbos are closely coupled to the exhaust ports.’
      • ‘The exhaust ports of the mechanical ventilators were left open to the room.’
      • ‘The right wing could only operate at fifty percent, and also had several damaged servomotors, and melted exhaust ports.’
      • ‘The window is kept clean by means of inert gas flow at the window flange, which also carries away the gaseous products through an outlet port at the cavity bottom into a quencher for zinc condensation and separation.’
      • ‘High-pressure CO2 is instantly released through discharge-head ports, creating a force to dislodge the buildup.’
      • ‘Sensors in front of the exhaust ports in the dashboard confirmed the effectiveness of the ventilation system.’
      • ‘Exhaust ports are scanned in a similar manner; combustion chambers are scanned from a single fixture position.’
      • ‘Converters mount directly to the exhaust port of each cylinder head.’
      • ‘Indeed, meticulous cleaning of the myriad channels, ports, crevices, and valves is critical.’
      • ‘The regulator was having difficulty preventing globs of water entering through the exhaust ports.’
      • ‘Russ even mounted six small fans into the vessel's primary dorsal exhaust ports.’
      • ‘Their major breakthrough was relocating the exhaust ports from a peripheral to a lateral position.’
      • ‘In fact, he did not see an exhaust port of any kind - but it might have been on the back of the ship.’
      • ‘They don't actually fit through the exhaust port like everyone says they will.’
      • ‘However, it differs in revised crankshaft and pistons, an increased cylinder capacity and larger intake and exhaust ports.’
      • ‘The zone is an air cavity beneath the swim platform where gas generator exhaust ports are located.’
      • ‘It is possible to install the provided mounting bracket on some smaller exhaust ports, but this could lead to conflicts between the radiator and cabling.’
      • ‘Steam and smoke emanated from the different ports and hoses that came loose, filling the small area around it with a somewhat vague but visible mist.’
      • ‘It had two large exhaust ports located on the center of each wing and a main thruster located in the center of the back.’
      • ‘The short exhaust ports can allow bubbles to rise alongside your mask.’
  • 2Electronics
    A socket in a computer network into which a device can be plugged.

    ‘a communications port for optional cellular and other wireless modules’
    • ‘In some embodiments, communication ports are provided between the units.’
    • ‘The network is maintained using infrared, X10 protocol and even USB communication ports, he says.’
    • ‘They understand surveillance cameras and exposed doors, but they don't understand open ports or rogue devices being hooked up to networks.’
    • ‘The data transfer network comprises a plurality of communication ports and a plurality of modules.’
    • ‘Each repeater examines its local network ports to computer stations such as PC's to determine if any are inputting data to the repeater.’
  • 3Scottish A gate or gateway, especially into a walled city.

Origin

Old English (in the sense ‘gateway’), from Latin porta gate; reinforced in Middle English by Old French porte. The later sense ‘opening in the side of a ship’ led to the general sense ‘aperture’.

Pronunciation:

port

/pɔːt/

Main definitions of port in English

: port1port2port3port4port5port6

port5

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Computing
    Transfer (software) from one system or machine to another.

    ‘the software can be ported to practically any platform’
    • ‘It provides a way of writing device-independent graphical and windowing software that can be ported easily from one machine to another.’
    • ‘Open source software that can be ported to a variety of systems might be able to engender those more general supercomputing ecosystems.’
    • ‘If you start porting your software you have to get into all sorts of deals and all sorts of concessions and ultimately you end up with a preferred platform anyway.’
    • ‘Likewise, porting software from one architecture to another is complex, rare, and costly, Weber added.’
    • ‘This setup replicates the interface to an external receiver and reduces the time necessary to port the software.’
    • ‘I went to art school, got into programming during the dot com bubble, moved into games development, hopped over to pre-press programming and I now work as a programmer porting software.’
  • 2Carry or convey.

    ‘we ported the milk cans from the plentiful water supply of the gym’
    • ‘Driving taxis and buses, porting baggage at the airport, and working in shops are among the types of employment that the Hageners pursue.’
    1. 2.1Military
      [with object], [often in imperative]Carry (a rifle or other weapon) diagonally across and close to the body with the barrel or blade near the left shoulder.
      ‘Detail! For inspection—port arms!’

noun

  • 1Military
    The position required by an order to port a weapon.

    ‘Parker had his rifle at the port’
  • 2literary A person's carriage or bearing.

    ‘she has the proud port of a princess’
  • 3Computing
    A transfer of software from one system or machine to another.

    ‘the first port of a commercial database to this operating system’
    • ‘The rest of the guys were the established players and didn't ask their customers to suffer huge software ports.’
    • ‘Without actually sitting down and benchmarking it, it feels identical to the laptop's ports in terms of transfer speed.’
    • ‘Firewall software watches these ports to make sure that only safe communication is happening between your computer and other computers online.’
    • ‘It was even beginning to attract ports of commercial applications software.’
    • ‘Virtual hosts allow you to run servers for different IP addresses, different host names, or different ports from the same machine.’

Phrases

  • at port arms

    • In the position adopted when given a command to port one's weapon.

      ‘the men lined up in full fig, with shields up, helmet masks down, and batons at port arms’
      • ‘The naval soldier moved to stand next to the weapons console, rifle held at port arms.’
      • ‘The column of twelve soldiers marched through in single file with their rifles at port arms.’
      • ‘Charlie slowly walked down the hill, the carbine held at port arms.’
      • ‘For example, a soldier standing at port arms will normally have a center of gravity in the middle of the pelvis, roughly behind the navel.’
      • ‘Their faces were concealed by tinted face shields attached to their helmets, and they carried what looked like quarter staffs at port arms.’

Origin

Middle English (in port): from Old French port bearing, gait, from the verb porter, from Latin portare carry. The verb (from French porter) dates from the mid 16th century.

Pronunciation:

port

/pɔːt/

Main definitions of port in English

: port1port2port3port4port5port6

port6

noun

Australian
informal
  • A suitcase or travelling bag.

    ‘she packed her ports and walked out’
    • ‘And that afternoon my ports were packed, and I hooked on the boat, and our daughter arrived, and away we went.’
    • ‘And mum cut all those lunches and packed them in your port.’
    • ‘Not only had she succeeded in finding me a sensible port, she had got it for a bargain price, in her home town, and in the presence of our grandmother, The Queen of Shoppers.’

Origin

Early 20th century: abbreviation of portmanteau.

Pronunciation:

port

/pɔːt/