[pawr-tij, pohr-, or for 2, 3, 5, 6, pawr-tahzh]
the act of carrying; carriage.
the carrying of boats, goods, etc., overland from one navigable water to another.
the route over which this is done.
the cost of carriage.
verb (used without object), portaged, portaging.
to make a portage: On this stretch of the river, we have to portage for a mile.
verb (used with object), portaged, portaging.
to carry (something) over a portage; make a portage with: We portaged our canoe around the rapids.

1375–1425; late Middle English < Middle French; see port5, -age

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[pawr-tij, pohr-]
a city in SW Michigan.
a town in NW Indiana.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
portage (ˈpɔːtɪdʒ, French pɔrtaʒ)
1.  the act of carrying; transport
2.  the cost of carrying or transporting
3.  the act or process of transporting boats, supplies, etc, overland between navigable waterways
4.  the route overland used for such transport
5.  to transport (boats, supplies, etc) overland between navigable waterways
[C15: from French, from Old French porter to carry]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1423, "action of carrying," from O.Fr. portage "tax paid on entering a town," from porter "to carry," from L. portare "to carry" (see port (1)). Sense of "carrying of boats from one navigable water to another" is from 1698, reinforced in Canadian Fr.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


city, seat (1851) of Columbia county, south-central Wisconsin, U.S. It lies along the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, about 35 miles (55 km) north of Madison. The 1.5-mile (2.5-km) overland portage there between the Wisconsin and Fox rivers was first crossed by the French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette in 1673; the route was vital in linking the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River. The Portage Canal was built between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers in the 1850s, but it faced competition from a railroad that came through the town in 1857; the canal fell into disuse and was closed to navigation in 1951. In 1792 a fur-trading post was established, and Fort Winnebago was built in 1828 at the site when conflict with the Ho-Chunk Nation (Winnebago) Indians threatened; its Surgeon's Quarters have been restored as a museum. The Historic Indian Agency House (1832) of John Kinzie, agent to the Winnebago, has also been restored.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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