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

mobile, movable (or moveable)

Antonyms: Adjective

immobile, immovable, irremovable, nonmobile, unmovable

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Examples of portable in a Sentence


Portable devices such as MP3 players are becoming increasingly popular.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The best one-size-fits-all power bank is the RavPower 22,000 mAh portable charger. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Power Up With RavPower's Discounted Chargers and Power Banks," 26 Feb. 2019 Take the No Glow Anti-Shine Stick, which is a perfectly portable solution to shiny selfie skin. Sophie Wirt, Allure, "Clear & Clear Quietly Launches C&C, Its New Millennial-Targeted Skin-Care Line," 21 July 2018 Instead, the new Surface Go is an attempt to bring most of the premium features of a $1,000 Surface Pro to something that’s both ultra-portable and more affordable. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "Surface Go Is Microsoft’s Big Bet on a Tiny-Computer Future," 9 July 2018 Luckily there are good transport and portable transfer tools to do that. Dina Fine Maron, Scientific American, "Everything You Need to Know about the Ebola Vaccine," 17 May 2018 The Schumann 4th, played as recently as March, is becoming a fallback piece that’s both impressive and portable (not requiring special instrumentation). David Patrick Stearns, Philly.com, "Philadelphia Orchestra and Helene Grimaud gives a preview of the upcoming Israel tour," 11 May 2018 Ukulele is a great musical entry point, as well as an easily portable instrument for summer parties. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Want to try something new? From climbing to comedy, check out these 10 classes," 27 Mar. 2018 Chasing Monkey makes dog crates that are lightweight, fully collapsible, and portable without sacrificing style. Stephanie Granada, Sunset, "10 Stylish Pet Furniture Picks," 22 Jan. 2018 Typically small and lightweight, so easily portable. Nicole Sforza, ELLE Decor, "Fine Print," 5 July 2012

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

New portables would have cost the town $777,000, with a 32 percent, or $250,000, state reimbursement to the district. Peter Marteka, Courant Community, "South Windsor Officials Searching For Used Portable Classrooms," 4 June 2018 L’interdiction générale des téléphones portables dans les écoles et les collèges a été définitivement adoptée par l’Assemblée nationale aujourd’hui. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "France bans smartphone use in schools," 1 Aug. 2018 The school system is now in the market for used portable classrooms after officials learned there is a backlog of orders for new portables until November. Peter Marteka, Courant Community, "South Windsor Officials Searching For Used Portable Classrooms," 4 June 2018 The school has added two outdoor portables to accommodate more children on their property off N Street and 12th Avenue, said principal Ahrens. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Should Anchorage close schools? Here’s what the school district’s efficiency consultant says.," 19 Apr. 2018 What's more, making such a laser portable is much harder—even impossible—considering the limits of modern battery tech and the size of the weapon according to the report. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Everything Suspicious About China's Laser Rifle Claims," 9 July 2018 This year the event helped raise money for the new Infusion & Dialysis Center, as well as a portable, real-time imaging system for the Division of Orthopedics. Kelli Stacy, courant.com, "UConn Freshman Christyn Williams Makes Bold National Championship Prediction," 25 June 2018 The portables will be moved to the old Orchard Hill Elementary School, to house Pleasant Valley students during the building project. Peter Marteka, Courant Community, "South Windsor Officials Searching For Used Portable Classrooms," 4 June 2018 According to the Sheriff’s Office, a teacher at the neighboring elementary school saw a person with a Nike backpack with what appeared to be a handgun near the middle school portables. Lisa J. Huriash, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Gun scare that locked down 7 schools leads to boy's suspension," 22 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for portable

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for portable

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

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More Definitions for portable



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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More from Merriam-Webster on portable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for portable

Spanish Central: Translation of portable

Nglish: Translation of portable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of portable for Arabic Speakers

Comments on portable

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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