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

  • n. A person employed to carry burdens, especially an attendant who carries travelers' baggage at a hotel or transportation station.
  • n. A railroad employee who waits on passengers in a sleeping car or parlor car.
  • n. A maintenance worker for a building or institution.
  • n. Chiefly British One in charge of a gate or door.
  • n. A dark beer resembling light stout, made from malt browned or charred by drying at a high temperature.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who carries luggage and related objects.
  • n. A person in control of the entrance to a building.
  • n. In the bowling industry, an employee who clears and cleans tables and puts bowling balls away.
  • n. A strong, dark ale, originally favored by porters, similar to a stout but less strong.
  • n. Another name for the malt brew stout.
  • n. One who ports software (converts it to another platform).
  • v. To serve as a porter, to carry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A man who has charge of a door or gate; a doorkeeper; one who waits at the door to receive messages.
  • n. A carrier; one who carries or conveys burdens, luggage, etc.; for hire.
  • n. A bar of iron or steel at the end of which a forging is made; esp., a long, large bar, to the end of which a heavy forging is attached, and by means of which the forging is lifted and handled in hammering and heating; -- called also porter bar.
  • n. A malt liquor, of a dark color and moderately bitter taste, possessing tonic and intoxicating qualities.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who has the charge of a door or gate; a doorkeeper or gate-keeper.
  • n. One who bears or carries; a bearer; a carrier; specifically, a person who carries burdens, etc., or runs errands for hire: as, a railway or dock porter.
  • n. A law officer who carries a white or silver rod before the justices in eyre.
  • n. Eccles., same as ostiary.
  • n. That which is used in bearing, supporting, or carrying.
  • n. A dark-brown malt liquor, of English origin.
  • n. A rope-carrier or supporter; a wheel or roller on a support used to sustain a traction- or transmission-rope and prevent its sagging and striking the ground between its terminal points.

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

  • n. United States composer and lyricist of musical comedies (1891-1946)
  • n. United States writer of novels and short stories (1890-1980)
  • n. United States writer of short stories whose pen name was O. Henry (1862-1910)
  • v. carry luggage or supplies
  • n. a person employed to carry luggage and supplies
  • n. a railroad employee who assists passengers (especially on sleeping cars)
  • n. someone who guards an entrance
  • n. a very dark sweet ale brewed from roasted unmalted barley


Middle English portour, from Anglo-Norman, from Late Latin portātor, from Latin portāre, to carry.
Middle English, from Anglo-Norman, from Late Latin portārius, from Latin porta, gate.
Short for porter's ale.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman portour, from Old French porteor, from Latin portātor, from past participle of portare ("to carry") (Wiktionary)
From Anglo-Norman portour, from Old French portier, from Late Latin portarius ("gatekeeper"), from porta ("gate"). (Wiktionary)



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