por·​tal | \ ˈpȯr-tᵊl How to pronounce portal (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Portal (audio) \

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

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Examples of portal in a Sentence

Noun 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 Using Baylor Scott & White’s MyBSWHealth app and online portal, families can receive quality care and support from a team of Baylor Scott & White clinicians via a mobile device or website. Dallas News, "We each need to do our part: modeling care and leadership during the pandemic," 14 Oct. 2020 Officials told CBS News that early Tuesday morning a fiber was cut near one of Virginia's state technology centers which impacted data circuits used to run the Department of Elections' registration portal. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "Biden continues to outspend Trump on TV ads," 13 Oct. 2020 As the pandemic forced travelers to stay home, virtual reality quickly became a portal to the world. Tanner Saunders, Travel + Leisure, "Why Virtual Travel Is Here to Stay — Even After the Pandemic," 12 Oct. 2020 Airbnb Experiences, a four-year-old service on Airbnb that links travelers with everything from concerts to city tours, has now become a portal through which many small and local operators are offering their virtual services. Nina Sovich, WSJ, "How Airbnb Lets You Experience K-Pop Dance Classes and Scottish Sheep—Without Leaving Your House," 9 Oct. 2020 Each individual voter portal has information about his or her voter registration status, including the precinct where the registration is active. Dwight Adams, The Indianapolis Star, "How to track your absentee ballot in Indiana and fix ballot problems," 6 Oct. 2020 Through the end of the year, The RealReal will have a dedicated portal on its site for Gucci products. Marc Bain, Quartz, "Luxury labels like Gucci are taking notice of the booming secondhand market," 5 Oct. 2020 Black Fashion Fair's online domain is a portal of Black excellence. Harper's BAZAAR, "Antoine Gregory's Black Fashion Fair Creates Space for Long Overlooked Black Designers," 2 Oct. 2020 The effort uses a secure online portal — the same one employed by the U.S. military to help deployed troops vote — to send a digital ballot to voters who request it by the Oct. 24 deadline. Kate Santich, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida scrambles to launch new vote-by-mail method for visually impaired," 2 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In addition to providing a framework for research, the portal offers maps of different treaty land designations, as well as extensive historical and contextual information. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Hundreds of Native American Treaties Digitized for the First Time," 15 Oct. 2020 The groups are asking that the deadline be extended by 48 hours after officials said a cut data connection caused the citizen portal to go offline for much of the day Tuesday. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Voting rights groups sue to extend Virginia registration deadline after system crashed on final day," 14 Oct. 2020 The problem was reminiscent of issues out of Florida last week when the state's online registration portal crashed hours before the registration deadline. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "Biden continues to outspend Trump on TV ads," 13 Oct. 2020 The team of Mercedes engineers tasked with making this concept wilderness-ready gave it portal axles, which allow the wheels to sit below the center of the axle. Annie White, Car and Driver, "Mercedes Shows Off Its Wild, Off-Road EQC 4x4 Squared Concept," 13 Oct. 2020 These moves are increasingly common in the college basketball transfer portal era. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: UConn’s Tyrese Martin left a good situation at Rhode Island for a better one in Storrs," 11 Oct. 2020 In September, an application for a design review was submitted to the Town of Gilbert to redevelop an existing Arby’s into an Eegee’s on the southwest corner of Baseline Road and Val Vista Drive, according to the town’s development services portal. Shaena Montanari, The Arizona Republic, "Multiple Eegee’s locations may be opening in metro Phoenix. Here’s what we know so far," 10 Oct. 2020 As with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s CONNECT unemployment portal that crashed in March, Florida’s voter registration website has been criticized as inadequate since it was launched in 2017. John Haughey, Washington Examiner, "Florida website collapse left 20,000 unable to register to vote: Federal judge," 9 Oct. 2020 There could be as many as 9 million people who are eligible for a stimulus payment but haven’t let the IRS know by going online to use the non-filers portal or by filing a simplified return. Washington Post, "Still haven’t gotten your stimulus payment? Here’s why you may not get it until 2021 — or at all.," 5 Oct. 2020

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

Time Traveler for portal

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for portal

Last Updated

20 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Portal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/portal. Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for portal


How to pronounce Portal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of portal

formal + literary : 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 How to pronounce portal (audio) \

Kids Definition of portal

: a large or fancy door or gate


por·​tal | \ ˈpȯrt-ᵊl How to pronounce portal (audio) \

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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