harbor

noun
har·bor | \ˈhär-bər \

Definition of harbor 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a place of security and comfort : refuge the … Loyalists found harbor in the same areas— W. G. Hardy

2 : a part of a body of water protected and deep enough to furnish anchorage a yacht harbor especially : one with port facilities

harbor

verb
harbored; harboring\ˈhär-b(ə-)riŋ \

Definition of harbor (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to give shelter or refuge to harboring a fugitive

b : to be the home or habitat of The ledges still harbor rattlesnakes. broadly : contain sense 2 a town that harbors several textile factories

2 : to hold especially persistently in the mind : cherish harbored a grudge

intransitive verb

1 : to take shelter in or as if in a harbor ships harboring in the bay

2 : live parasites that harbor in the blood

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Other Words from harbor

Noun

harborful \ˈhär-bər-ˌfu̇l \ noun
harborless \ˈhär-bər-ləs \ adjective

Verb

harborer \ˈhär-bər-ər \ noun

Examples of harbor in a Sentence

Noun

the tanker stayed in Boston harbor three days to undergo repairs seeking a harbor from the drenching rain, we unfortunately chose a bank where a robbery was taking place

Verb

It is illegal to harbor an escaped convict. He still harbors deep feelings of resentment toward his former employer. I don't harbor any illusions about our chances for success. She studies the genetic material harbored in a cell's nucleus. Some of these animals may harbor disease that could affect humans.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Place to Stay For years Sydney’s hum-drum hotel scene was defined by reliable big brands on the harbor and a few indie spots in neighborhoods too far from the center to use as your base. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Sydney: The Black Book," 5 July 2018 There was Ellis Island near the New York harbor and Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, both of which detained enough children to sustain makeshift schools at various points. Brianna Nofil, Time, "Family Separation Is Officially Over, but History Suggests the U.S. Won't Find a Good Solution for Migrant Children," 28 June 2018 There's a fish processing plant at the harbor and a college campus. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Curious about Nome, Wiseman and Fort Yukon? Here are your guides," 16 June 2018 Both collect seafood at harbors and companies up and down their coasts. Robin Mcdowell, Washington Post, "AP Investigation: Fish billed as local isn’t always local," 14 June 2018 Both collect seafood at harbors and companies up and down their coasts. chicagotribune.com, "'Sustainably caught' seafood? Nationwide distributor's murky supply chain exposed," 14 June 2018 The organization works to exchange best practices on construction, maintenance and management, formulate policies to encourage harbor and marina expansion, and keep members informed of legislative action that affects the marina industry. Laura Groch, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Business briefs, May 3," 3 May 2018 Located at 43 Elm Street just steps from the harbor and Washington Square, the property is offered at $935,000. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Charming Colonial with color-blocked interiors asks $935K," 15 Mar. 2018 About 100,000 were lifted from the beaches during Operation Dynamo, and the rest were taken from the harbor and the wooden breakwater. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "4 Ways the Battle of Dunkirk Showed Us the Future of War," 23 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

She was shot at her desk by a gunman who had reportedly harbored a grudge against the paper for years, and showed up at her small newsroom with a shotgun shortly after Winters conducted what was likely her last interview. Aubrey Whelan, Philly.com, "'It's a remarkable thing … we've got to protect.' In shooting's wake, a Maryland town embraces its newspaper," 30 June 2018 His order penalizing anyone who harbored Quakers provoked 31 residents of Flushing on Long Island — none of them Quakers themselves — to sign a remonstrance, a collective appeal to redress their grievance. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "Document That Inspired Bill of Rights Goes on Display in Manhattan," 27 June 2018 Those who came by sea—especially the children—will harbor a fear of the ocean for years to come. Robin Hammond, National Geographic, "After Fleeing War, Refugee Children Face Lasting Psychological Trauma," 20 June 2018 Warm areas in contact with water can sometimes harbor mold or mildew. Debbie Carlson, chicagotribune.com, "5 areas to tackle during spring cleaning," 22 May 2018 But many people harbor thoughts of a break or respite from their day-to-day lives. Deborah Needleman, Town & Country, "How to Take a Gap Year From Your Life," 11 July 2018 Mack, who has run the school on Monroe Road since 2000, pleaded guilty this week to a felony charge of concealing, harboring or shielding unlawful aliens. Ann Doss Helms, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte private school was a front for foreign athletes to dodge ICE, feds say," 6 July 2018 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that D. repens are not found in the US, but the country does harbor relatives D. immitis, which cause heartworm disease in dogs, and D. tenuis, which affect raccoons. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Selfies show worm slithered through woman’s face for 2 weeks," 22 June 2018 The increasingly popular fruit grows on small farms scattered across Latin America, and can harbor listeria, a bacterium that kills 260 people per year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Geoffrey Mohan, latimes.com, "Could blockchain have solved the mystery of the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak?," 27 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harbor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of harbor

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for harbor

Noun

Middle English herberge, herberwe, from Old English herebeorg military quarters, from here army (akin to Old High German heri) + beorg refuge; akin to Old English burg fortified town — more at harry, borough

Verb

see harbor entry 1

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Statistics for harbor

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for harbor

The first known use of harbor was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for harbor

harbor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of harbor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a part of the ocean, a lake, etc., that is next to land and that is protected and deep enough to provide safety for ships

: a place of safety and comfort

harbor

verb

English Language Learners Definition of harbor (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give shelter to (someone) : to hide and protect (someone)

: to have (something, such as a thought or feeling) in your mind for a long time

: to hold or contain (something)

harbor

noun
har·bor | \ˈhär-bər \

Kids Definition of harbor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a part of a body of water (as a sea or lake) so protected as to be a place of safety for ships : port

2 : a place of safety and comfort : refuge

harbor

verb
harbored; harboring

Kids Definition of harbor (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give shelter to They harbored the escaped prisoner.

2 : to have or hold in the mind For years she harbored the desire to travel.

har·bor | \ˈhär-bər \

Medical Definition of harbor 

: to contain or be the home, habitat, or host of those who harbor the gene for the illness— William Booth green monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops) may have harbored the ancestor of the AIDS virus— R. C. Gallo

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harbor

noun
har·bor

Legal Definition of harbor 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a place of security and comfort — see also safe harbor

Legal Definition of harbor (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to receive secretly and conceal (a fugitive from justice)

2 : to have (an animal) in one's keeping may not harbor a dog without a permit

Other Words from harbor

harborer noun

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Comments on harbor

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to reject or criticize sharply

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