1 [pawr-tl, pohr-]
a door, gate, or entrance, especially one of imposing appearance, as to a palace.
an iron or steel bent for bracing a framed structure, having curved braces between the vertical members and a horizontal member at the top.
an entrance to a tunnel or mine.
Computers. a website that functions as an entry point to the Internet, as by providing useful content and linking to various sites and features on the World Wide Web.

1300–50; Middle English portale < Medieval Latin, noun use of neuter of portālis of a gate. See portal2

portaled, portalled, adjective

1. entranceway, doorway, entry, threshold.
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2 [pawr-tl, pohr-] Anatomy.
noting or pertaining to the transverse fissure of the liver.

1605–15; < Medieval Latin portālis of a gate. See port4, -al1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
portal (ˈpɔːtəl)
1.  an entrance, gateway, or doorway, esp one that is large and impressive
2.  any entrance or access to a place
3.  computing an internet site providing links to other sites
4.  anatomy
 a.  of or relating to a portal vein: hepatic portal system
 b.  of or relating to a porta
[C14: via Old French from Medieval Latin portāle, from Latin porta gate, entrance]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from M.L. portale "city gate, porch," from neut. of portalis (adj.) "of a gate," from L. porta "gate" (see port (2)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

portal por·tal (pôr'tl)

  1. Of or relating to a porta or hilum.

  2. Of or relating to the portal vein or the portal system.

  3. Of or relating to a point of entrance to an organ, especially the transverse fissure of the liver, through which the blood vessels enter.

  1. The portal vein.

  2. The point of entry into the body of a pathogenic microorganism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

portal definition

A Web site that provides a gateway to other Web sites.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

PORTAL definition

Process-Oriented Real-Time Algorithmic Language.
["PORTAL - A Pascal-based Real-Time Programming Language", R. Schild in Algorithmic Languages, J.W. deBakker et al eds, N-H 1981].

portal definition

World-Wide Web
A website that aims to be an entry point to the World-Wide Web, typically offering a search engine and/or links to useful pages, and possibly news or other services. These services are usually provided for free in the hope that users will make the site their default home page or at least visit it often. Popular examples are Yahoo and MSN. Most portals on the Internet exist to generate advertising income for their owners, others may be focused on a specific group of users and may be part of an intranet or extranet. Some may just concentrate on one particular subject, say technology or medicine, and are known as a vertical portals.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Accustomed to portal environments, subscribers misunderstand requests for
  information at individual sites.
We've become a major portal for all kinds of students to enter higher education.
GM is saying that it intends to keep control of the portal rather than spin it
  off in a public offering.
So, a magazine for the moneyed plans a gilded portal.
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