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.
to conceal; hide: to harbor fugitives.
to keep or hold in the mind; maintain; entertain: to harbor suspicion.
to house or contain.
to shelter (a vessel), as in a harbor.
verb (used without object)
(of a vessel) to take shelter in a harbor.
Also, especially British, harbour.

before 1150; Middle English herber(we), herberge, Old English herebeorg lodgings, quarters (here army + (ge)beorg refuge); cognate with German Herberge

harborer, noun
harborless, adjective
harborous, adjective
unharbored, adjective

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To harboring
Word Origin & History

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."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The trunk of trees harboring bee hives were specially marked to indicate
In fact, you are labeled a pessimist for harboring such negative thoughts.
The idea here is to open a new sports franchise in a small town or city not
  already harboring a big-league team.
The possibility of her hens' harboring the salmonella bacteria was an unknown
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature