Definition of Portuguese in English:



  • Relating to Portugal or its people or language.

    • ‘South of the river, in the Zambezi Valley, the people adopted Portuguese dress, language, and religion to a larger extent.’
    • ‘The first three were easy to distinguish, thanks to the Portuguese language's descriptive suffixes.’
    • ‘In late 1960, Benenson heard of the plight of two Portuguese men who had been jailed for seven years for raising a toast to freedom.’
    • ‘The statue itself is made from Portuguese limestone, but the plinth is of Wicklow granite and is sculpted by local man Paddy Roe.’
    • ‘The daughter of first-generation Portuguese immigrants, she grew up in the small town of Victoria, British Columbia.’
    • ‘What possesses football fans (and not just Portuguese ones) to do this?’
    • ‘He said at this stage, touts were trying to buy tickets from anybody they could, mostly Portuguese people, so they could sell them on to the English.’
    • ‘A bottle of Portuguese Rosé props open the kitchen door.’
    • ‘Here you can really enjoy some typical imported dishes like chourico, caldo verde, boealhau and Portuguese chicken.’
    • ‘We'll offer traditional Portuguese food and a bunch of portos.’
    • ‘While cakes and confectionery should be avoided like the plague in Spain, Portuguese sweets and chocolate are of the highest quality.’
    • ‘The brimming vessel of optimism in Portuguese football owes much, of course, to the quality of the current squad of players.’
    • ‘It truly was an unmissable experience being here and the organisation and enjoyability of it all is thanks to impeccable Portuguese hospitality.’
    • ‘In a house by a lake, muffled in polo necks and cardigans and hampered by poor language skills, Jamie falls for the Portuguese housekeeper, Aurelia.’
    • ‘It seems to be that they concentrate on particular projects and ones that deal in Portuguese language only.’
    • ‘A Foreign Office spokesman said that officers contacted Portuguese authorities yesterday morning after questioning the pair.’
    • ‘His first task on arriving in Mozambique was to do a Portuguese language training course so he could converse with the local people.’
    • ‘A mild mannered Saturday outing to eat Portuguese chicken led to an ugly situation where cars were overturned and seven people were hospitalised.’
    • ‘Dili has flown in Portuguese teachers to help with the change.’
    • ‘Christine said although the work done by Portuguese surgeons was excellent, Bernard was isolated and confused for much of his time in hospital.’


  • 1A native or inhabitant of Portugal, or a person of Portuguese descent.

    • ‘The first Europeans to reach Nigeria were the Portuguese in the fifteenth century.’
    • ‘Indian embroideries were being made for Portuguese patrons surprisingly soon after the arrival of the Portuguese in India in 1498.’
    • ‘The first Europeans in the area were the Portuguese in the sixteenth century.’
    • ‘Spaniards and Portuguese adapted this name to tapioca, in which form it became an adopted English word in the late 18th century.’
    • ‘European contact with the Igbo began with the arrival of the Portuguese in the mid-fifteenth century.’
    • ‘The survivors, who are Spanish and Portuguese, are expected to leave for home today.’
    • ‘The Annobon population, native to Angola, was introduced by the Portuguese via Sao Tome.’
    • ‘John points out that teams with conspicuously long hair have been big losers: the Argies, the French, the Portuguese.’
    • ‘They therefore traded widely with the British, the French, the Dutch, and the Portuguese.’
    • ‘The mouth of the Congo River was the base for the Kongo Kingdom which encountered the Portuguese in 1484.’
    • ‘He prevented the Danish fleet from falling into French hands and supported the Spaniards and Portuguese in their struggle against Napoleon.’
    • ‘The sailing guides were called portolani by the Italians, roteiros by the Portuguese and rutters by the Dutch and English.’
    • ‘The Irish are the latest to get on the building bandwagon, which had been dominated by the Italians, Germans and Portuguese.’
    • ‘The Spanish tend to look at the Portuguese in much the same way as the English are supposed to look upon the Irish, at least for the purposes of bad jokes.’
    • ‘Many of these are Bantu, sold to the Portuguese in exchange for clothing, liquor, and guns.’
    • ‘These were occupied not only by agriculture, but also in mining and trade in copper and salt against European goods obtained from the Portuguese.’
    • ‘It is the story about the Dutchman, the Frenchman and the Portuguese.’
    • ‘It's a cooperative effort, and the Portuguese and Americans work side by side to carry out the mission.’
    • ‘Spaniards and Portuguese put regional identity above nationality.’
    • ‘The first Europeans to discover the country were the Portuguese.’
  • 2The Romance language of Portugal and Brazil.

    • ‘Brazil and East Timor are former Portuguese colonies, and Portuguese is spoken in both.’
    • ‘Unless you speak Portuguese, you're going to have a bit of trouble finding your way around though.’
    • ‘His mother is Portuguese and he speaks the language fluently but he has been more than just a tutor to Ricardo.’
    • ‘The beat of Brazil is also there and in Brazil itself, Portuguese is still the mother tongue.’
    • ‘Unlike the rest of Angola, where the official language is Portuguese, the language of Malongo is English.’
    • ‘Gallego and Portuguese were a single language until the fourteenth century, when they began to diverge.’
    • ‘Later, I buy a Popsicle in a small grocery store where the clerk seems surprised to hear me speak Portuguese.’
    • ‘I didn't know I had another Brazilian on the line, so we might speak in Portuguese now.’
    • ‘You hear French and Portuguese spoken on the streets a lot.’
    • ‘If she were Brazilian, then she would know that Brazil's official language is Portuguese.’
    • ‘Of course, I speak some Portuguese as well after being there but I have always practised my English.’
    • ‘Gusmao, who speaks fluent Portuguese, could not attend due to scheduling problems, the organizer said.’
    • ‘It seems there are many dialects of Portuguese spoken in several countries in South America.’
    • ‘So why on earth have Portuguese as the official language of East Timor?’
    • ‘Aside from a small number of recently contacted indigenous peoples, all Brazilians speak Portuguese.’
    • ‘Within a year I'd like you to speak English because I'm not going to speak Portuguese.’
    • ‘Next, regional variants of a language like Portuguese constitute yet another piece of evidence against this hypothesis.’
    • ‘The official language is Portuguese, a legacy of the country's colonizers.’
    • ‘I have so many questions, yet the struggle of having to speak Portuguese leaves me unable to articulate them meaningfully.’
    • ‘As a former colony, its official language remains Portuguese.’


From Portuguese portuguez, from medieval Latin portugalensis.