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 is replete with boats; a number of floating monstrosities clearly belong to 1-percenters from nations near and far. David Holahan, courant.com, "Visiting Corsica: Up and Down and Around The Mountainous Mediterranean Idyll," 13 Sep. 2019 Seeking to break the standoff, Spain on Sunday offered a far southern port, Algeciras, just west of Gibraltar, to Open Arms, even while acknowledging that the harbor is distant and unsuitable to disembark so many migrants. Washington Post, "Migrants jump off rescue boat to try to reach Italian island," 18 Aug. 2019 Block Island is unique in that, on any given summer day, ferries arrive in its two harbors from four states: Rhode Island (Newport and Point Judith), New York (Montauk), Connecticut (New London) and Massachusetts (Fall River). Vogue, "What’s Old Is New Again on Block Island," 14 Aug. 2019 Its harbor was cluttered with the wrecks of warships from the Japanese occupation, and air services were almost nonexistent. Raymond Zhong, New York Times, "Cathay Pacific, Icon of Hong Kong’s Rise, Now Reflects China’s Grip," 11 Aug. 2019 Its harbor is largely surrounded by a park instead of shops and restaurants. James R. Carroll, USA TODAY, "Cape Ann, Massachusetts: A charming alternative to Cape Cod with sandy beaches and fried clams," 3 June 2019 Le Chalet is a weather beaten and isolated bistro in the shadow of the gigantic citadel, at the very end of the harbor. David Holahan, courant.com, "Visiting Corsica: Up and Down and Around The Mountainous Mediterranean Idyll," 13 Sep. 2019 The sewers are coming up... Bodies are in the harbor. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "'There is nothing here': The future is uncertain for 70,000 in the Bahamas left homeless by Dorian," 8 Sep. 2019 The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, which is leading the effort, is searching for the Endeavour in the harbor near Newport. BostonGlobe.com, "New England news in brief," 8 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The flag, portraying a red sun with 16 rays extending outward, is resented by many South Koreans, who still harbor animosity over Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. Washington Post, "SKorea asks IOC to ban ‘rising sun’ flag at Tokyo Olympics," 11 Sep. 2019 To make matters worse, as Ann Killion notes, the Raiders are not an ideal landing spot for a dysfunctional player who harbors delusions of grandeur. Jen Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Inside the Ghost Ship trial verdict," 6 Sep. 2019 The measure allowed Pence, who harbored presidential ambitions, to claim a tangible win for veterans at a time when Republicans were blasting the Obama administration for long wait times in the federal VA health care system. Tony Cook, Indianapolis Star, "Former lawmaker catches heat for secretive deal with Indiana veterans agency," 7 Aug. 2019 Astrophysicists discovered that not only our own galaxy, but most galaxies, harbor them. Quanta Magazine, "The Double Life of Black Holes," 29 Jan. 2019 Trump also harbored contempt for conventional political practices. Peter Elkind, ProPublica, "The Myths of the “Genius” Behind Trump’s Reelection Campaign," 11 Sep. 2019 There's a secondary plot involving Salander's evil (literally) twin sister, Camilla, a tool of Russian intelligence who is enraged because Lisbeth murdered her father and harbors her own revenge fantasies. Richard Lipez, Dallas News, "Lisbeth Salander is back -- and angrier than ever," 26 Aug. 2019 The aim was to dislodge Afghanistan’s then-ruling Taliban for harboring al-Qaida leader and Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. Washington Post, "18 years later, America vows to ‘never forget’ 9/11," 13 Sep. 2019 Less than a month after the terror attacks, Bush announced on Oct. 7, 2001, that U.S. and British troops had begun striking Afghanistan for harboring the al-Qaida terrorists blamed for 9/11. BostonGlobe.com, "It has been 18 years since al-Qaida hijackers commandeered four U.S. commercial airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Like Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Trump marked the day with the war still raging.," 12 Sep. 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

25 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Harbor.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harboring. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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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