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por·​ta·​ble ˈpȯr-tə-bəl How to pronounce portable (audio)
: capable of being carried or moved about
a portable TV
: characterized by portability
a portable pension
: usable on many computers with little or no modification
portable software
archaic : bearable
portably adverb


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: something that is portable

Examples of portable in a Sentence

Adjective Portable devices such as MP3 players are becoming increasingly popular.
Recent Examples on the Web
Find it on Amazon This Tablet Doubles As A Computer Step into the future of portable technology with this Tablet that comes with a complimentary keyboard. Mia Meltzer, Rolling Stone, 17 Nov. 2023 Protect your credit cards on the go with this slim RFID-blocking wallet for less than $30, and keep your hotel or Airbnb door secure with this portable lock that’s discounted by 44 percent. Brittany Vanderbill, Travel + Leisure, 17 Nov. 2023 Elsewhere in the update notes, Valve points out that the Steam Deck LCD can now output full HDR and variable refresh rate content to an external monitor, even though those features aren't supported on the portable screen itself. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 17 Nov. 2023 Upon initial investigation, a portable propane heater inside the blind seemed to be the source of the fire. Katie Hill, Outdoor Life, 16 Nov. 2023 In a time where advanced devices like portable speakers and streaming sticks are small enough to fit in a boot, there’s no saying what hidden gems will be waiting over the fireplace on Christmas Day. Anna Tingley, Variety, 16 Nov. 2023 With major manufacturers like Creative Labs on board to add these drivers to next-gen wireless earbuds, and a few high-end products already on the market, the future of portable sound is finally peeking around the corner. Parker Hall, WIRED, 15 Nov. 2023 The bank was even forced to get settlement data from affected parties using a messenger and a portable USB drive, reports Bloomberg. Lionel Lim, Fortune, 10 Nov. 2023 This lightweight portable propane heater will work for the campsite, garage, or small cabin. Andrew Waite, Field & Stream, 1 Nov. 2023
However, this refresh to Microsoft’s lightweight Surface portable is strictly for enterprise consumers. WIRED, 21 Sep. 2023 Each day of the week has its own portable, pocket-size case that can be removed from the box and carried on its own for day trips or hikes. Meaghan Kenny, Condé Nast Traveler, 15 Aug. 2023 Misha Kollontai, a senior test project leader who assesses generators for Consumer Reports, says that during testing, portables showed variations in performance, but standby generators performed well regardless of manufacturer. Laura Daily, Washington Post, 29 Aug. 2023 The company makes a portable for just about every purpose, from high-end gaming to price-conscious productivity. K. Thor Jensen, PCMAG, 29 Aug. 2023 This will include replacement bleachers for the baseball field, a solar project, replacing ag portables, and HVAC improvements. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 July 2023 Its canned Le Spritz pack makes a lightly bubbly, pleasantly bitter Ghia-and-soda portable, with a gentle sweetness from riesling grapes and yuzu juice. Allison Robicelli, Anchorage Daily News, 14 July 2023 This is a high-end portable with some serious power, a gorgeous mini LED display that boasts incredible clarity and brightness, a speedy 13th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU, and plenty of ports. K. Thor Jensen, PCMAG, 11 July 2023 In the long run, this new update seems destined to be a mere speedbump for 3DS owners who want to enjoy homebrew software on their legacy portables (which, of course, includes the potential for emulated and pirated software). Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 23 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'portable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin portabilis, from Latin portare to carry — more at fare

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1708, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of portable was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near portable

Cite this Entry

“Portable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/portable. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


: possible to carry or move about
a portable computer


Middle English portable "capable of being carried or moved about," from early French portable (same meaning), from Latin portabilis (same meaning), from earlier portare "to carry" — related to portfolio, transport

More from Merriam-Webster on portable

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