Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

portage

play
noun por·tage \ˈpȯr-tij, 3 is also pȯr-ˈtäzh\

Definition of portage

  1. 1 :  the labor of carrying or transporting

  2. 2 archaic :  the cost of carrying :  porterage

  3. 3 a :  the carrying of boats or goods overland from one body of water to another or around an obstacle (as a rapids) b :  the route followed in making such a transfer



Did You Know?

Portage was borrowed from French back in the 15th century to mean "carrying, transporting" or "freight", and it has kept its simple "carrying" sense to the present day. But its first known use in its "carrying of boats" sense came in 1698, and the obstacle that the canoes couldn't be steered over was none other than Niagara Falls. Though canoes are much lighter today than they used to be, a long portage that includes a lot of camping gear can still test a camper's strength.

Origin and Etymology of portage

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from porter to carry


First Known Use: 15th century


2

portage

play
verb por·tage \ˈpȯr-tij, pȯr-ˈtäzh\

Definition of portage

portaged

portaging

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to carry over a portage

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to move gear over a portage



1836

First Known Use of portage

1836


Portage

play
geographical name Por·tage \ˈpȯr-tij\

Definition of Portage

  1. 1 city NW Indiana E of Gary pop 36,828

  2. 2 city SW Michigan S of Kalamazoo pop 46,292



Did You Know?

Portage was borrowed from French back in the 15th century to mean "carrying, transporting" or "freight", and it has kept its simple "carrying" sense to the present day. But its first known use in its "carrying of boats" sense came in 1698, and the obstacle that the canoes couldn't be steered over was none other than Niagara Falls. Though canoes are much lighter today than they used to be, a long portage that includes a lot of camping gear can still test a camper's strength.


Learn More about portage


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up portage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

different from the usual or normal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

accomodate accommodate acommadate acommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ