Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A porch or walkway with a roof supported by columns, often leading to the entrance of a building.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A porch, or a small space with a roof supported by columns, serving as the entrance to a building.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A colonnade or covered ambulatory, especially in classical styles of architecture; usually, a colonnade at the entrance of a building.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In architecture, a structure consisting essentially of a roof supported on at least one side by columns, sometimes detached, as a shady walk, or place of assemblage, but generally, in modern usage, a porch or an open vestibule at the entrance of a building; a colonnade.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a porch or entrance to a building consisting of a covered and often columned area

Etymologies

Italian, from Latin porticus, from porta, gate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian portico, from Latin porticus ("porch"), from porta ("gate"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Trees, trees, millions of trees, massive, immense, running up high; and at their foot, hugging the bank against the stream, crept the little begrimed steamboat, like a sluggish beetle crawling on the floor of a lofty portico.

    --Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

    March 9, 2011

  • Through portico of my elegant house you stalk
    With your wild furies, disturbing garlands of fruit

    from "Conversation Among the Ruins," Sylvia Plath

    March 26, 2008