Main definitions of porter in English

: porter1porter2

porter1

noun

  • 1A person employed to carry luggage and other loads, especially in a railway station, airport, hotel, or market.

    • ‘The porter loaded their bags onto cart and began to lead them down the wharf.’
    • ‘Adam engaged a porter to take our luggage and make sure it got on the ship and then pulled his watch out of his coat pocket.’
    • ‘He took all the luggage off the porter and with a polite thank you and goodbye, sent him on his way.’
    • ‘We were met by porters who carried our luggage on their heads and we took a shuttle boat, called a dhow, across to tiny Lamu Island.’
    • ‘He was a porter on the Sydney railways during the war, then came up to Lismore, where he was a share farmer.’
    • ‘He began his railway career as a porter at Clapham in the days when Ingleton Colliery was open and thousands of tons of coal passed through the station.’
    • ‘The car drove off to the train station, and the porters put her luggage on the train.’
    • ‘Gone are the African guards, the other porters carrying luggage, and the road and the countryside.’
    • ‘This always becomes alarming as the number of items increases to the point that I would need an army of attendants and porters to carry the luggage.’
    • ‘A porter carried our luggage for us to the door, and helped us into the aircraft.’
    • ‘During the days of the great steam trains, when you arrived at a station there was a ticket clerk in the front office, on the platform there was a porter, and on larger stations there was a Station Master.’
    • ‘For many years he worked as a railway porter and engine driver in Moscow, painting in his spare time, but from 1967 he was a full-time artist.’
    • ‘Horses, and at high altitudes, yaks, are used instead of porters to carry loads.’
    • ‘He then gets on the train, as the porter takes his luggage.’
    • ‘Commuters alighting at the station, porters with luggage on their head and the crowds on the platform as the train arrives, were all there.’
    • ‘By 10 am the main activity in the market is over and porters lean exhausted against their trolleys, counting their day's takings, and charging their energy for the following morning's business.’
    • ‘It was crowded and noisy, but fortunately, Baron Kaspar got a few porters to carry our luggage and surround us, keeping us isolated from everyone else.’
    • ‘As an unsmiling porter arranged her sensible luggage on the platform, Nixes took the opportunity to look appraisingly around.’
    carrier, bearer, baggage carrier, baggage bearer
    sherpa
    stretcher bearer
    redcap, skycap
    khalasi
    cargador
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British A hospital employee who moves equipment or patients:
      ‘a hospital porter’
      • ‘As an egalitarian, I liked the appellate tribunal's manner of lumping together porters, stokers, stretcher bearers, and doctors.’
      • ‘She said: ‘The best way to reduce the infection rate is to ensure all staff, from porters to consultants, are rigorous about washing their hands and hygiene after examining a patient.’’
      • ‘The 56-year-old is going to become a hospital porter instead.’
      • ‘Mike Phillips, a hospital porter, said: ‘I would not want any of my family in hospital at this time.’’
      • ‘A retired hospital porter feared he would not have enough money to get through the week - only to learn he had scooped £5.6m on the Lottery.’
      • ‘My complaint is with the porters and the nurses.’
      • ‘I have been in hospital, very recently, where I was never checked in, never greeted and not even asked to get changed for my operation until the porters came to get me.’
      • ‘A hospital porter, a call centre operator, supermarket shelf stackers and a factory worker, they meet regularly in an all night cafe to kill time.’
      • ‘Then there was a hospital porter who is always angry about being made to work beyond his hours.’
      • ‘The following morning he got a call from a hospital porter at St John's Wood who saw the story in the paper.’
      • ‘The third man from the right, with the bald head, was the head porter at the hospital, Mr Hudson.’
      • ‘The next day I took my daughter to the district hospital where I had last worked before leaving Britain, and although a porter recognised me no one else did.’
      • ‘Doctors were the least likely group of clinical staff to be trained to counter violence, and support staff, such as porters and receptionists, rarely received adequate training, the report shows.’
      • ‘Portillo has done his own stint as a hospital porter and spent quality time in-depth shadowing a school teacher.’
      • ‘Employees including porters, cleaners, security guards and others voted by 254 to 152 to take industrial action.’
      • ‘Bill, like many of the porters at the hospital, is a former steelworker.’
      • ‘Mark's a bookish hospital porter seemingly allergic to romantic relationships.’
      • ‘He was living in the States at the time, and he had a job as a hospital porter.’
      • ‘Up until 10 years ago Humble worked as a labourer and a security guard, while his brother was a hospital porter.’
      • ‘The hospital has two porters working at any one time.’
    2. 1.2 A person employed to carry supplies on a mountaineering expedition.
      • ‘Yet the Sherpas did not climb this and other peaks until recruited as porters on sahibs' expeditions.’
      • ‘Two years later, a 52-man Japanese expedition with 1,500 porters laid siege to K2, scaled the Abruzzi, and posted the second summit.’
      • ‘Another group that has carved out an occupational niche for itself is the Sherpas, who are well known as guides and porters for mountain-climbing expeditions.’
      • ‘It is an eight-day walk from the nearest town to the earliest gold fields, and the only way to bring in supplies is on the backs of native porters.’
      • ‘Instead of four porters, two men transport the colonial official.’
      • ‘The pair spent some time haggling with the Berber porters over a good price; the Berber tribe are mountain inhabitants and work as guides and carry equipment for climbers.’
      • ‘Such a package will include transport, accommodation in the mountain huts, meals while on the climb, park entry fees, services of an experienced mountain guide and porters and cooks.’
      • ‘Late in a day of falling into waist-deep slime, being bitten by ants, and clawing up mudslides, my expedition mates, our porters, and I crawled under a rock to escape the cold, driving rain.’
      • ‘The expedition lasted 15 days, with a crew of porters, cooks, and guides.’
      • ‘Although roads connect many major commercial centers, in much of the country goods are transported by porters and pack animals.’
      • ‘At this rate we more or less kept pace with the unfortunate porters whose job it is to supply the mountains' hotels with everything from tea to double glazing.’
      • ‘The military also forces villages to supply porters to carry army supplies to their operations.’
      • ‘We'd made base camp early and sent the porters packing - with our gear.’
      • ‘The Sherpas' reputation as excellent porters and guides on mountain-climbing and trekking expeditions has brought them a new source of income and, for some Sherpas, a comfortable living.’
      • ‘I'm probing, with limited success, for details about Lhakpa's life - namely, whether he's ever worked as an expedition porter.’
    3. 1.3North American A sleeping-car attendant.
      • ‘He was a porter on a Pullman sleeping car during the golden age of rail travel.’
      • ‘Parks had worked closely with E.D. Nixon, a black trade unionist in Montgomery, the head of the local branch of the sleeping car porters ' union and a longtime fighter for voting rights and other issues.’
      • ‘Bellboys, porters, restroom attendants and taxi drivers will happily accept loose change.’
      • ‘In 1925, the porters organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, which was led by A. Philip Randolph.’
  • 2[mass noun] Dark brown bitter beer brewed from malt partly charred or browned by drying at a high temperature:

    ‘a nice pint of porter’
    [count noun] ‘the company produces a bottle-conditioned porter’
    • ‘Bread rationing was reintroduced in January 1947 as was soap rationing and, critically, beer and porter supplies were drastically reduced.’
    • ‘They smiled broadly when her medicine bottle as she described the large bottle of porter, was always delivered discreetly in a brown paper bag.’
    • ‘Paddy, once it opened, headed straight to the bar, as if he hadn't enough porter and whiskey drank and proceeded to tank up again.’
    • ‘In England, porter, originally the beer favoured by porters at the market, became the health drink of the Victorians, often prescribed by doctors for convalescent ladies.’
    • ‘He adds that the 80 or so brews on offer, including bitters, milds, porters, stouts, wheat beers and real lagers, will range in strength between three and eight per cent and alcohol by volume.’
    • ‘Even in England, the traditional home of ales, lagers grow bigger and bigger, placing not only ales, but stouts, porters and other brews in the shade.’
    • ‘When Irish brewers tried to make porter in the Emerald Isle, they ended up producing stout, Andrew says, because the water was different.’
    • ‘The beer gets better, summer beer in a beer garden is quite something but give me an old pub with an open fire and a pint of porter or stout any day and I am one happy lady.’
    • ‘Three beer styles are eligible in the competition: sweet stout, brown porter and best bitter.’
    • ‘Two of the most enjoyable social occasions of the past six months were accompanied by cups of tea in Cafe Regular in Brooklyn and pints of porter in the White Horse pub in Limerick.’
    • ‘It was back in 1790 that Guinness began to produce what was to become its trademark product, a rich dark porter that came to be known as stout.’
    • ‘Originally, all beers were dark and heavy, similar to the porters, stouts and brown ales of Britain.’
    • ‘Now we have Ales, with their bitters, pale ales, porters, stouts, barley wines, trappist, lambic, and alt.’
    • ‘A lot of those heavier beers - porters, stouts, bocks and such - are available year round from many brewers.’
    • ‘In the left corner, a butcher and a blacksmith are each of them grasping a foaming tankard of porter.’
    • ‘Bigger lads too took part in this old custom while even bigger fellows played in bars to get the extra few ‘bob’ for a few pints of porter.’
    • ‘Moreover, they are not drinking the servant's traditional porter or ale, but ‘punch’.’
    • ‘Arthur Guinness first began to brew porter in 1778, and would eventually stop brewing ale in 1799.’
    • ‘For example, Pilsner is one of the most popular lagers, while porter and stout are examples of ales.’
    • ‘A beer and a cigarette from a smirking, toothless porter ease the immediate pain, while jibes from my travelling companions put my huffs and puffs into perspective.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French porteour, from medieval Latin portator, from Latin portare carry.

Pronunciation

porter

/ˈpɔːtə/

Main definitions of porter in English

: porter1porter2

porter2

noun

British
  • An employee in charge of the entrance of a hotel, block of flats, college, or other large building:

    ‘a night porter’
    • ‘Hotel guests were woken by the crash and the night porter and duty manager rushed outside to help the injured.’
    • ‘In the hotel's Whisky Room, which was doubling as a cloakroom, the peer asked the night porter for his coat, but was refused permission to enter and look for it because he was deemed too drunk.’
    • ‘The quick actions of the Kirkwall Hotel's night porter were praised by the police this week after he averted a potentially damaging fire.’
    • ‘Back at the Midland Hotel I spoke to the night porter, Patrick, a former miner.’
    • ‘The night porter noticed smoke early on Sunday morning.’
    • ‘He carried one of her small cases into the lobby of the building where a porter stepped forward to retrieve it.’
    • ‘The melee was broken up by me and the barman, Tyrone, a genuine hard man who doubled as the night porter.’
    • ‘The porters at the College and eleven hired security officials then detained a man at the instruction of the College Dean while the police were called.’
    • ‘She pursued the thief onto the High Street before returning to Exeter College to alert the porters.’
    • ‘He even made a list of duties for the night porter including an instruction to move the bed but he never had a chance to give it to him before the alarm.’
    • ‘Hill has not yet been contacted by College authorities regarding the incident, but he has already apologised to the night porter.’
    • ‘About ten years ago, Mr Haggarty said night porters are said to have seen a First World War soldier drinking in the bar.’
    • ‘The ultimate put-down comes when the college porter outsmarts George in logical debate.’
    • ‘He worked as a night porter in hotels, which no doubt gave him time to read.’
    • ‘‘When we got to the lift, he saw the night porter and took an envelope out of his pocket,’ Albert recalls.’
    • ‘‘They were armed with a handgun, entered the hotel and assaulted the night porter,’ said a Garda spokesman.’
    • ‘But although Andrew, 42, did try breaking out and working as a clerk and a night porter, he found the jobs dull.’
    • ‘The spectre, who wears Victorian costume, has apparently been seen several times by the hotel's male night porter and male guests.’
    • ‘They are looking receptionists, bar staff, night porters, duty managers and housekeepers, among other staff.’
    • ‘After a fantastic evening we walked to the car park to find the night porter, anticipating our departure, had scraped all the ice off our car's windscreen.’
    doorman, doorkeeper, door attendant, commissionaire, gatekeeper
    caretaker, janitor, concierge
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French portier, from late Latin portarius, from porta gate, door.

Pronunciation

porter

/ˈpɔːtə/