from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having a round, stout body. synonym: fat.
  • adjective Archaic Stately or dignified.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Stately or dignified in mien; of noble appearance and carriage.
  • Stout; somewhat large and unwieldy in person.
  • Swelling.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Having a dignified port or mien; of a noble appearance; imposing.
  • adjective Bulky; corpulent.

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

  • adjective euphemisms for `fat'


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

[From port.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From port +‎ -ly.


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  • But he was stopped on the way by a portly sperm whale, that begged a few moments' confidential business with him. That business consisted in fetching the Commodore's craft such a thwack, that with all his pumps going he made straight for the nearest port to heave down and repair.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 45

    July 25, 2008

  • (adj): handsome, imposing. Original sense as recorded in the OED.

    January 16, 2009

  • This etymology isn't much use given we don't know which definition port5 refers to.

    February 24, 2013