a part of a body of water along the shore deep enough for anchoring a ship and so situated with respect to coastal features, whether natural or artificial, as to provide protection from winds, waves, and currents.
such a body of water having docks or port facilities.
any place of shelter or refuge:
The old inn was a harbor for tired travelers.
verb (used with object)
to give shelter to; offer refuge to:
They harbored the refugees who streamed across the borders.
before 1150;Middle Englishherber(we), herberge,Old Englishherebeorg lodgings, quarters (here army + (ge)beorg refuge); cognate with GermanHerberge
Can be confused
dock, harbor, pier, wharf (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. Harbor, haven, port indicate a shelter for ships. A harbor may be natural or artificially constructed or improved: a fine harbor on the eastern coast. A haven is usually a natural harbor that can be utilized by ships as a place of safety; the word is common in literary use: a haven in time of storm; a haven of refuge. A port is a harbor viewed especially in its commercial relations, though it is frequently applied in the meaning of harbor or haven also: a thriving port; any old port in a storm.3. asylum, sanctuary, retreat. 4. protect, lodge. 6. See cherish.
c.1150, from O.E. herebeorg, from here "army, host" (see harry) + beorg "refuge, shelter" (related to beorgan "save, preserve"); perhaps modeled on O.N. herbergi, from P.Gmc. *kharjaz + *berg-. Sense shifted in M.E. to "refuge, lodgings," then to "place of shelter for ships."
any part of a body of water and the manmade structures surrounding it that sufficiently shelters a vessel from wind, waves, and currents, enabling safe anchorage or the discharge and loading of cargo and passengers
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