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

The portal, which went live two weeks ago, is intended to help parents secure better information about day cares. Brad Schmidt, OregonLive.com, "Childcare safety bill signed into law by Governor Kate Brown," 14 Apr. 2018 Captain Kirk travels through a time portal and finds himself in 1930s Manhattan. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Ousted Rep. Joe Crowley the latest lawmaker 'supposed to be' House Speaker," 1 July 2018 That could mean repairing an escape pod or zipping through an alien portal to a shoe store on Earth. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Prey: Mooncrash’s dystopic nightmare hits a little too close to home," 28 June 2018 Also, check deals available through the travel portal of your warehouse club membership. Kristin Wong, New York Times, "11 Ways to Save Money When Booking Travel," 27 June 2018 While Merlin provides members access to their data through a portal, Merlin will never compete by supplying an artist dashboard. Ed Christman, Billboard, "Merlin Primed to Reach $500 Million in Annual Collections for Indie Label Members," 18 June 2018 Residents can provide feedback through an interactive web portal on Santa Fe ISD's website. Shelby Webb, Houston Chronicle, "Santa Fe ISD announces upgraded security plans, committee," 7 June 2018 The following five tests all took place through the north portal. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "North Korea expected to close nuclear test site, despite squabbles," 24 May 2018 The following five tests all took place through the north portal. Anna Fifield, Anchorage Daily News, "North Korea declares its nuclear test site closed after a ‘huge explosion’," 24 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 The child’s bed assignment passes back through the portal to Border Patrol, which is responsible for transferring the child to a facility. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "How a Child Moves Through a Broken Immigration System," 20 June 2018 The site has also become a portal for thousands of families looking to connect. Julia Terruso, Philly.com, "After Trump-Kim summit, Philly-area family asking 'What about my brother' could finally get an answer," 20 June 2018 Facebook Watch, the social network's dedicated video destination, will also soon become a portal where people can view live coverage, daily news briefings, and other content exclusive to the service, Hardiman said. Alyssa Newcomb /, NBC News, "Facebook 'trending' section is dead as company offers new approach to breaking news," 1 June 2018 Extra Perks 25 percent off airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises when you book through Chase’s rewards portal. Janna Irons, Outside Online, "The 5 Best Travel Credit Cards," 30 May 2018 This new portal to vintage treasures, a former mattress factory built in 1886, is filled with neon signs, carnival attractions, and advertising mascots. Chris Nichols, Los Angeles Magazine, "There’s a Perfect 1980s Video Arcade Hidden Inside This New Pop Culture Gallery," 25 May 2018 Your gateway to the Internet may be the portal that foreign hackers are using to snatch your data. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Reboot your router to avoid Russian malware, FBI warns: What you need to know," 30 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

13 Sep 2018

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

a : portal vein

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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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).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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