Examples of portmanteau in a sentence
<carried her possessions with her in an old portmanteau>
Did You Know?
In Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, Alice asks Humpty Dumpty to explain words from the nonsense poem "Jabberwocky" and is told that slithy is "like a portmanteau-there are two meanings packed up into one word." Although slithy hasn't caught on (it's made up of slimy and lithe, according to Humpty Dumpty), another portmanteau invented by Carroll has in fact found a place in the language: chortle (supposedly from chuckle and snort). English includes other portmanteaus, too, such as brunch (breakfast and lunch) and dramedy (drama and comedy). Following Carroll's lead, English speakers have come to call these fairly common words by the not-so-common name for a type of traveling bag with two compartments. The technical (and simpler) term for such words is blend.
Origin of portmanteau
Middle French portemanteau, from porter to carry + manteau mantle, from Latin mantellum — more at port
First Known Use: 1579
Definition of portmanteau
1 : combining more than one use or quality
2 : being a portmanteau <a portmanteau word>
First Known Use of portmanteau
Learn More about portmanteau
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for "portmanteau"
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