One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Weaving. A number of threads grouped together to form a warp.
2In form portée. Importance, import, weight; the consequences of an action or event.
3Military. A self-propelled vehicle on which an anti-tank gun may be mounted.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. From French portée collection of threads which form a warp, effect, impact, importance, effectiveness, (in mechanics or technology) supporting piece, specifically uses as noun of portée, feminine of past participle of porter.
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