harbor

noun
har·​bor | \ ˈhär-bər How to pronounce harbor (audio) \

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 How to pronounce harboring (audio) \

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 How to pronounce harborful (audio) \ noun
harborless \ ˈhär-​bər-​ləs How to pronounce harborless (audio) \ adjective

Verb

harborer \ ˈhär-​bər-​ər How to pronounce harborer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for harbor

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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 harbor-side city is not only strikingly beautiful (and the weather milder), but also is closer to her mother, Doria Ragland, who lives in Los Angeles. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Harry & Meghan's exit: Will they lose their titles and other burning questions answered," 15 Jan. 2020 Sitka rests on the edge of Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska, facing the open ocean, although the town and its harbors are somewhat protected by Sitka Sound. Anne Raup, Anchorage Daily News, "Photos: Sitka sees a stretch of cold, snowy weather," 15 Jan. 2020 Ever since Proxima b’s discovery, astronomers have been clamoring to learn more about that alluring place, which could, in theory, harbor life. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "The Curious Case of Proxima C," 15 Jan. 2020 Time exposure photos posted by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department to Twitter showed the series of lightning strikes over Santa Barbara, Calif., including shots taken from Stearns Wharf in the city's harbor late Tuesday. Fox News, "2019 in review: The top 5 craziest weather moments," 28 Dec. 2019 In the Christmas romantic comedy, Keira Knightley plays Juliet, a newlywed who gets momentarily swept up in the romantic feelings her husband’s best friend (played by Andrew Lincoln) harbors for her. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Viral Tweet About Keira Knightley & Thomas Brodie-Sangster's Ages in Love Actually Shocking Fans," 17 Dec. 2019 The harbor provided easy access to unload human cargo. USA Today, "Slavery reparations stir contentious debate. Why Brown and other universities are trying to make things right," 17 Dec. 2019 The last step is the acoustic tag that allows researchers to listen via hydrophones within the harbor and around the state. David A. Brown, Field & Stream, "The Fight to Save the Sawfish," 13 Dec. 2019 But the renaissance has done little for some residents who live in persistent poverty and harbor lingering mistrust after decades of racial upheaval. Corey Williams, chicagotribune.com, "Vacant houses, sparse internet and high poverty: Detroit tops list of hard-to-count cities ahead of census," 12 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Compared to other vegetables, though, our favorite salad bases are by far the most at risk for harboring dangerous bacteria. Molly Glick, Popular Science, "Why romaine lettuce keeps getting recalled," 9 Jan. 2020 While not technically in Arctic waters, a renovated Port of Nome has been identified as the most practicable northern location for harboring emergency response, industry support and research vessels in Western Alaska. Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Army Corps of Engineers expands plan for Nome port," 8 Jan. 2020 Illinois isn’t known for harboring caribou, but the shovel-like eye-guard on this bruiser could have come from the Great White North. Pj Delhomme, Outdoor Life, "The Top 40 Typical and Nontypical Whitetails of All Time," 1 Jan. 2020 Vladimir Putin’s Russia, which in recent years has become ground zero for harboring cybercriminals, has begun aggressively fighting to protect hackers that get caught overseas. Wired, "Russia Fails to Stop Alleged Hacker from Facing US Charges," 13 Nov. 2019 In 2001, President George W. Bush condemned Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers for harboring Osama bin Laden and his followers as the United States pressed its military and diplomatic campaign against terror. BostonGlobe.com, "In 1789, the US War Department established a regular army with a strength of several hundred men.," 29 Sep. 2019 Greig is serving a multi-year sentence for harboring a fugitive. CBS News, "Family of Whitey Bulger sues U.S. government for wrongful death over fatal beating," 22 Sep. 2019 The teen, who has not been hurt, was released to her parents, and detectives are looking into possible charges for anyone responsible for harboring a runaway. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Missing Magnolia teen 'orchestrated her disappearance,' found safe in nearby town," 19 Sep. 2019 Game wardens in a West Texas county obtained a search warrant for a home believed to belong to a man known to harbor rare live species, including an American alligator. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Game wardens search for missing gator, and other field notes from Texas Game Wardens," 20 Dec. 2019

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 and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for harbor

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for harbor

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Harbor.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harbor. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for harbor

harbor

noun
How to pronounce harbor (audio)

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 How to pronounce harbor (audio) \

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 How to pronounce harbor (audio) \

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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