"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[pawr-tuh-buh l, pohr-] /ˈpɔr tə bəl, ˈpoʊr-/
capable of being transported or conveyed:
a portable stage.
easily carried or conveyed by hand:
a portable typewriter.
Computers. (of data sets, software, etc.) capable of being used on different computer systems.
Obsolete, endurable.
something that is portable, especially as distinguished from a nonportable counterpart:
Of their three television sets, one is a portable.
Origin of portable
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Late Latin portābilis. See port5, -able
Related forms
portably, adverb
nonportable, adjective
unportable, adjective
Can be confused
portable, potable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for portable
  • Otherwise, portable diesel generators transported to the site should have enabled pumping to resume.
  • Bread appears in many forms, but it is essentially a way of preparing staple grain in a form that's easily storable and portable.
  • It's kind of portable but awkward and a little heavy.
  • portable electronic devices require better memories.
  • Fuel cells have three main applications: transportation, portable uses, and stationary installations.
  • portable consumer products such as music players, cameras and cell phones are becoming ever smaller.
  • Lewis gave out some portable soup, which he had along, to be used in cases of necessity.
  • Seven steps connect the deck's three levels to a small ground-level patio with a portable fireplace.
  • Cellphones and portable music players are inescapable on college campuses.
  • His team thinks its new approach will be particularly suitable for use in portable devices, because it operates at low voltages.
British Dictionary definitions for portable


able to be carried or moved easily, esp by hand
(of software, files, etc) able to be transferred from one type of computer system to another
(archaic) able to be endured; bearable
an article designed to be readily carried by hand, such as a television, typewriter, etc
Derived Forms
portability, noun
portably, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin portābilis, from Latin portāre to carry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for portable

early 15c., from French portable "that can be carried," from Late Latin portabilis "that can be carried," from Latin portare "to carry" (see port (n.1)). Related: Portability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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portable in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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