Definition of portly in English:



  • 1(especially of a man) rather fat.

    ‘a portly little man with a bowler hat’
    • ‘A portly British statesman once famously said that ‘democracy is based on reason and fair play.’’
    • ‘We also had a memorable discussion about the portly professor Natalie had in school who was actually from Transylvania.’
    • ‘Daddy, mustachioed and portly, wasn't there to monitor Aradhana's improvements.’
    • ‘‘It used to be a story that made us weep only,’ said Nabih al-Ibrahim, 42, a portly civil engineer running for a city council seat.’
    • ‘As a teenager, John was quite portly - yet with a bit of discipline and a lot of bullying, the freshman fatty soon became a sophomore slim.’
    • ‘In fact, I'm still a portly person, but I don't have any sympathy for those who blame others for their own poor choices, or the bad choices of their parents.’
    • ‘The portly woman was smiling when she returned.’
    • ‘A short portly man with a bulbous nose and warm blue eyes - a Santa Claus without the beard - Drever is always talking and chuckling, ideas constantly bubbling up fast and furiously.’
    • ‘At that moment, the owner of the café - a large portly man with kind eyes but a stern mouth - came back behind the bar.’
    • ‘Jack has the body of a portly, suited figure much given to lunching.’
    • ‘Eventually he started to talk with the bartender, a portly fellow with a large salt-and-pepper mustache and squinty eyes.’
    • ‘Ever since the breakup and subsequent divorce, Jack had told close friends and family members that he would've been a-okay if Marley cheated on him with some portly slob.’
    • ‘Devlin swiveled around to see a short, portly man.’
    • ‘Sometimes too portly to actually star on-screen, he often provided a smooth-toned voiceover for more handsome leading men.’
    • ‘Frankel leaned his portly, balding, middle-age frame against a wall while he studied the past performance statistics of the horses in the fifth.’
    • ‘Our tester was burdened with a 10-pound snowboard strapped to his already portly pack.’
    • ‘Callista eyed the two portly cooks sceptically.’
    • ‘Her portly body was perched on a small stool precariously, looking like she would fall off if she shifted even slightly.’
    • ‘Lasse, a pale and portly businessman, is abruptly fired from his job after 30 years of service and 14 years without a missed day.’
    • ‘Osgood was a large, bearded portly gentleman who took life and mathematics very seriously and walked up and down in front of the blackboard making ponderous statements.’
    • ‘The fat portly man who had been questioning him turned to look at him, and Jason saw a snarl beneath the man's lips as he saw the figure stride forward.’
    • ‘She looked across the plain room to where a small portly man sat behind a large oak table, his podgy hands resting in front of him.’
    • ‘He is a rather portly man with wavy, sand coloured hair and a farmer's style shirt.’
    • ‘I nodded and leaned against the bar, my eyes following Isabelle over to where a balding, portly fellow was sitting at the bar.’
    • ‘The manager, a short, portly man of perhaps 55, looked at them in alarm from across his cluttered desk.’
    • ‘King Francis, a portly man with a neat beard and light eyes, sat in an armchair before the fire, instructing one of the servants to place more logs in the hearth.’
    • ‘Jenkins neglected to mention one key argument, though: Americans are a portly group.’
    • ‘Also I realized Heather would be there and while I love her, she's very tall and when I am around tall people I feel extremely portly.’
    • ‘A portly greybeard, with huge shoulders and chest, he could usually be found writing his reminiscences or playing with the grandchildren.’
    • ‘He is portly and stern and looks at his watch a lot and Thomas and his pals are a bit frightened of him, but he gets results.’
    • ‘He was the heir to his father - the portly county sheriff whose duty to protect and serve was best carried out drinking coffee at the local lumber yard and surprising an occasional joy-riding youth.’
    • ‘The driver, a portly man of medium height and an officer, taller and slim, talked as the sunlight poked through the clouds, shielding their eyes from its glare.’
    • ‘In the back of the restaurant, a rather portly man with graying hair sat down before a piano and placed his stubby fingers upon its glossy white keys.’
    • ‘Opposite, a portly gentleman with a magnificent beard adjusted his sword and bowed his head minutely in welcome.’
    • ‘It took no more than a second for the door to snap open and a portly man to emerge, balancing two doughnuts precariously in one hand.’
    • ‘They skulk at the back, where portly men are eating prawn sandwiches and muttering.’
    • ‘With an oversized sweater hanging from his portly frame, Peterson waved and flashed a forced grin as the crowd applauded politely.’
    • ‘Jack's portly wife, Bertha, invited Laurie to supper, and Laurie was delighted to hear stories that Jack told of being trail boss on his own cattle drives.’
    • ‘He may be crook but he's also a nice big portly guy.’
    • ‘A portly man was already in there, looking rather casual and unshaven.’
    stout, plump, fat, overweight, heavy, corpulent, fleshy, paunchy, pot-bellied, beer-bellied, of ample build, ample, well upholstered, well padded, broad in the beam, rotund, roly-poly, round, rounded, stocky, bulky, falstaffian
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  • 2archaic Of a stately or dignified appearance and manner.

    ‘he was a man of portly presence’


Late 15th century: from port in the sense ‘bearing’ + -ly.