por·​tal | \ ˈpȯr-tᵊl \

Definition of portal 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : door, entrance especially : a grand or imposing one
2 : the whole architectural composition surrounding and including the doorways and porches of a church
3 : the approach or entrance to a bridge or tunnel
4 : a communicating part or area of an organism specifically : the point at which something (such as a pathogen) enters the body
5 : a website serving as a guide or point of entry to the World Wide Web and usually including a search engine or a collection of links to other sites arranged especially by topic



Definition of portal (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : of or relating to the transverse fissure on the underside of the liver where most of the vessels enter
2 : of, relating to, or being a portal vein or a portal system portal circulation


biographical name
Por·​tal | \ ˈpȯr-tᵊl \

Definition of Portal (Entry 3 of 3)

Charles Frederick Algernon 1893–1971 1st Viscount Portal of Hungerford British air marshal

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Synonyms for portal

Synonyms: Noun

door, gate, hatch

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Examples of portal in a Sentence


a Web portal for baseball fans the main portal to the estate is an elaborate wrought iron gate on the side facing the road

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When a team banks enough motes (25 and 50), a portal opens, and one player can jump through to the other team’s map to wreak havoc. Aaron Zimmerman, Ars Technica, "Destiny 2: Forsaken review: Hallelujah, Destiny’s back," 19 Sep. 2018 That portal opens business-only options, like bulk pricing discounts, shipping, and invoice management, as well as integrations with corporate purchasing and record-keeping software. Matt Day, The Seattle Times, "Amazon’s sales pitch to corporate buyers turns into $10 billion business," 10 Sep. 2018 The real-estate portal recently teamed up with JD.com Inc. Dominique Fong, WSJ, "Western Cities Want to Slow Flood of Chinese Home Buying. Nothing Works.," 6 June 2018 The portal gives you access to your past activity on a variety of Apple services, including the App Store and Apple Music, and also revisits your order activity with its online and retail stores. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Apple's New Privacy Portal Will Reveal All the Data It's Collected on You," 23 May 2018 The portal will allow residents to pay water and other bills online and conduct other transactions, Center said. Janelle Walker, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin to launch new website for easier use on computers, phones," 17 May 2018 Until the portal opens, Jaijairam is still working the old way, receiving referrals from service organizations, police or city officials. Doug Smith, latimes.com, "Homeless outreach teams ready to bring services to the streets," 14 May 2018 The portal includes articles from the dozen or so animal advocacy groups TripAdvisor consulted with when first introducing its new policy. Nancy Trejos, USA TODAY, "Animal welfare for travelers: How to enjoy wildlife without harming it," 27 Apr. 2018 That may not be enough, especially if the portal includes data that users have uploaded themselves, but not the way the system categorises them. The Economist, "The EU guarantees its citizens’ data rights, in theory," 5 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The work might be done, but by January the only thing left to do is wait – wait for one letter, email or portal update that could make or break your plans for your future. Fresh U, Teen Vogue, "9 Stages of Applying to College as a High School Senior," 11 Sep. 2018 Racine also announced the creation of a portal for victims to report abuse directly to the attorney general’s office. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Even more states have launched investigations into clerical abuse since the Pennsylvania report," 24 Oct. 2018 Last night, an officer retrieved a body-cam for deployment on a midnight tour and noticed there was smoke exiting from the bottom portal and immediately removed it. Fox News, "NYPD pulls 3,000 body cams off street after one exploded," 22 Oct. 2018 Magic Leap already runs a portal for developers with tutorials and a software development kit. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The Magic Leap One mixed reality headset is shipping today for $2,295," 8 Aug. 2018 No longer merely the portal to nearby Niagara Falls, Buffalo is a modern and multifaceted city, more than ready for its moment. Amy Thomas, New York Times, "36 Hours in Buffalo," 28 June 2018 Kids and teetotalers can opt for mystic portal punch, which has lemon-lime and tangerine flavors with Powerade Mountain Berry Blast. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Disney: Comfort food fills Woody's Lunch Box at Toy Story Land," 28 June 2018 While Apple users could previously access many of the privacy features either online or by calling AppleCare, the portal puts all the tools together in one place, making them that much simpler to get to. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, "What does Apple know about you? EU privacy site makes it easier for some customers to find out," 23 May 2018 Real estate portal Zillow, another new economy trailblazer, faces millions in additional tax burden. Travis H. Brown, Fortune, "How Seattle’s New Tax to Fight Homelessness Could Ruin its Economy," 17 May 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1754, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for portal


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin portale city gate, porch, from neuter of portalis of a gate, from Latin porta gate — more at port


New Latin porta transverse fissure of the liver, from Latin, gate

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Learn More about portal

Dictionary Entries near portal







portal system

Statistics for portal

Last Updated

4 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for portal

The first known use of portal was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for portal



English Language Learners Definition of portal

: a large door or gate to a building (such as a church)

computers : a Web site that helps you find other sites


por·​tal | \ ˈpȯr-tᵊl \

Kids Definition of portal

: a large or fancy door or gate


por·​tal | \ ˈpȯrt-ᵊl \

Medical Definition of portal 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a communicating part or area of an organism: as
b : the point at which something enters the body portals of infection



Medical Definition of portal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to the porta hepatis
2 : of, relating to, or being a portal vein or a portal system portal blood portal circulation

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More from Merriam-Webster on portal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with portal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for portal

Spanish Central: Translation of portal

Nglish: Translation of portal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of portal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on portal

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


a person who helps groups work together

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