por·​ta·​ble | \ ˈpȯr-tə-bəl How to pronounce portable (audio) \

Definition of portable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : capable of being carried or moved about a portable TV
b : characterized by portability a portable pension
c : usable on many computers with little or no modification portable software
2 archaic : bearable



Definition of portable (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is portable

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Other Words from portable


portably \ ˈpȯr-​tə-​blē How to pronounce portably (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for portable

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of portable in a Sentence

Adjective Portable devices such as MP3 players are becoming increasingly popular.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Users must enter information about a room’s geometry, ventilation rates, air-filter efficiencies, and any portable air-cleaners, the release states. Robin Lloyd, Scientific American, "Coronavirus News Roundup, July 25-July 31," 31 July 2020 As the summer heats up, this portable air conditioner can help cool down your house or apartment quickly without taking up space on your windowsill. Ellen Mcalpine, CNN Underscored, "Save big on food, appliances, electronics and more with instant savings from Sam’s Club," 31 July 2020 When windows cannot be opened, classrooms could run portable HEPA filters, which are capable of trapping viruses this small, and which sell for as little as a few hundred dollars. Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, "We Need to Talk About Ventilation," 30 July 2020 There are solid reasons for getting portable tests to market quickly. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "'A recipe for disaster': FDA standards could slow production of fast in-home coronavirus tests," 30 July 2020 Uptake was slower than anticipated and drones turned out to be similar to other portable electronics—made more efficiently in China. Tom Simonite, Wired, "This Drone Maker Is Swooping In Amid US Pushback Against DJI," 13 July 2020 Or level up with the super portable CleanPod UVC Sterilizer ($90 from Monos). Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, "Vacation ready? Here’s what to bring – and do – to stay safe," 11 July 2020 In South Texas, a school district is turning over portable trailers to be used for hospital space. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "‘Very, very difficult’: Texas COVID-19 hospitalizations at record high, nearing overwhelming level," 11 July 2020 The dancers wear them in class, too, where they also are reminded to disinfect the portable barres after working with them. Deborah Martin, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio Ballet School director works to make her artform more inclusive," 10 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Since then, Sony's PSP and Vita portables stand out for using expensive and cumbersome proprietary memory card formats. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Xbox Series X eschews storage standards for proprietary expansion “card”," 16 Mar. 2020 Bose SoundLink Color II portable Bluetooth speaker for $99 at Amazon and B&H (normally $129). Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Roku’s 4K HDR Streaming Stick+ is on sale for $39 today," 7 May 2020 Bose SoundLink Color II portable Bluetooth speaker for $99 at Amazon and B&H (normally $129). Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "A handful of our recommended Fitbit devices are on sale today," 28 Apr. 2020 Bose SoundLink Color II portable Bluetooth speaker for $99 at Walmart and Amazon (normally $129). Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: Fast-charge your iPhone with this $12 Anker Lightning cable," 9 Jan. 2020 The student-athletes have had to watch film and attend classes in crowded classrooms and portables stuffed to capacity. Joshua Reed, Anchorage Daily News, "Houston finishes perfect season with first state title in team history," 20 Oct. 2019 Fewer than 200, out of about 1,600 in the school district, are the decaying wood or metal portables, raised up on cinder blocks, from the last century. Lois K. Solomon, sun-sentinel.com, "Schools to get more portable classrooms in coming years," 21 Aug. 2019 Hydro Flask had a sale on its tumblers in October, and our readers jumped at the chance to grow their collection of portable, insulated cups. Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, "The 25 products our readers loved most in October," 30 Oct. 2019 There are 1,608 portables and modular units in the school district, said David Dolan, deputy facilities management chief. Lois K. Solomon, sun-sentinel.com, "Schools to get more portable classrooms in coming years," 21 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'portable.' 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 portable


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


1708, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for portable


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

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Time Traveler for portable

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for portable

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Portable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/portable. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for portable


How to pronounce portable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of portable

: easy to carry or move around


por·​ta·​ble | \ ˈpȯr-tə-bəl How to pronounce portable (audio) \

Kids Definition of portable

: easy or possible to carry or move about a portable television

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