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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Shot on location in the region of North Ostrobothnia, the harbors and islands of Helsinki are left far behind. Hannah Walhout, Travel + Leisure, "13 Scandinavian TV Shows Worth Binge-watching (Video)," 19 May 2020 Rock bass, yellow perch, walleye and steelhead trout are being caught in the harbors. cleveland, "Ohio tackle shops now open as walleye, bass fishing heats up: Fishing Report," 14 May 2020 Flores’ home near the Los Angeles harbor was among four locations in California and Washington state where search warrants were previously served in February. Fox News, "Search warrant issued in disappearance of Kristin Smart, who vanished nearly 24 years ago," 23 Apr. 2020 The Diamond Princess has been stuck in the Yokohama harbor since Feb. 3, after the cruise company learned a passenger from Hong Kong had tested positive for the new coronavirus after disembarking last month. Sanya Mansoor, Time, "At Least 44 Americans Have Tested Positive for COVID-19 on Quarantined Cruise Ship in Japan," 16 Feb. 2020 About 20% of the more than 300 high-sulfur barges that service the harbor have already switched to supplying low-sulfur fuel oil, one of the ship owners said. Firat Kayakiran, Bloomberg.com, "Ships Stuck Waiting for Fuel at Asia Hub on Rule-Shift Snarl," 28 Nov. 2019 As her family’s boat moved through the harbor a few years ago, Munger, whose father is a billionaire investor, saw that many of her neighbors’ houses were sitting dark and vacant. Josh Boak, The Denver Post, "“Just too much”: Meet the uber-rich who want a wealth tax," 22 Oct. 2019 But first, during this week for lovahs, meet the man who has spent the past six years whisking couples around the Oxnard harbor in a Venetian gondola. Arlene Martinez, USA TODAY, "In California: Nunes' name gets dragged through the dirt, literally," 12 Feb. 2020 Beside the outer harbor wall, there are four less massive proposals. Anne Barnard, New York Times, "The $119 Billion Sea Wall That Could Defend New York … or Not," 17 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Among the top 10 mammals harboring the greatest numbers of zoonotic diseases, eight were livestock or pets and included pigs, cattle, horses, sheep, dogs, goats, cats, and camels. Kate Baggaley, Popular Science, "We probably won’t see the next COVID-19 coming," 10 Apr. 2020 The final trailer for Cooper’s creepy tale stars Keri Russell as a small-town teacher who, alongside her sheriff brother (Jesse Plemons), insert themselves into a grim narrative involving a young student harboring a dangerous secret. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, "Creepy kids, half-eaten bodies haunt Keri Russell in unsettling Antlers trailer," 10 Dec. 2019 One of the biggest fears fans harbored throughout seasons one and two was that Pearson patriarch Jack might disappear from the show's flashback timeline after his cause of death was finally revealed. Bianca Rodriguez, Marie Claire, "'The Haunting of Hill House' Season 2: Everything We Know So Far," 4 Dec. 2019 The state is home to 522,188 veterans, and an estimated 92,000 get their health care through the Phoenix VA system, which has harbored a reputation for issues with care, safety and public trust. Isabella Hulsizer, azcentral, "Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and ASU team up on survey to improve VA health care," 21 Nov. 2019 Flourishing trade also introduced the rat species — Rattus rattus — from India that would later be identified as the main carrier of fleas harboring plague. Bridget Alex, The Conversation, "Plague was around for millennia before epidemics took hold – and the way people lived might be what protected them," 7 Nov. 2019 In California — which harbors the most delegates and now has an early primary on March 3 — Warren is climbing in polls. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sen. Elizabeth Warren to hold town hall in San Diego next Thursday Oct. 3rd," 24 Sep. 2019 Pyongyang’s game of hardball with Tokyo is calculated to play well in China and South Korea, which also harbor deep distrust toward Japan. Eric Talmadge, The Seattle Times, "While making nice with US and South, North Korea slams Japan," 23 July 2018 By comparison, only a third of patients with SARS still harbored the virus in their respiratory tract after as long as four weeks, the Chinese scientists said. Claire Che, Bloomberg.com, "Coronavirus Can Live in Patients for Five Weeks After Contagion," 7 May 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about harbor

Time Traveler for harbor

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for harbor

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Harbor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harbor. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on harbor

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!