Por"toise\, n. [Perhaps fr. OF. porteis portative, portable.] (Naut.) The gunwale of a ship.

To lower the yards a-portoise, to lower them to the gunwale.

To ride a portoise, to ride an anchor with the lower yards and topmasts struck or lowered, as in a gale of wind.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
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