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 The Tuscaloosa gateway to the transfer portal has been more of an on-ramp – more of an exporter than an importer. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "What transfer of Ohio State’s Jameson Williams means for Alabama offense," 3 May 2021 Malzahn was asked about losing players to the portal in the offseason. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "UCF loses a pair of tight ends, quarterback to the transfer portal," 30 Apr. 2021 After losing nine members of its 2020-2021 squad to the transfer portal over the last few weeks, Buzz Williams and Texas A&M men’s basketball are taking steps toward reloading the roster with a new addition on Wednesday. Hannah Underwood, Dallas News, "Texas A&M lands Duke transfer forward Henry Coleman III," 28 Apr. 2021 The protagonist doesn’t turn to the portal to mourn publicly. Gemma Sieff, Harper's Magazine, "Sapphires of the Instant," 27 Apr. 2021 Michigan State basketball lost yet another player to the transfer portal on Monday. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State basketball's Foster Loyer enters NCAA transfer portal," 20 Apr. 2021 People can schedule appointments at other locations through the state's portal or by calling 211. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, "Colts, Meijer to host COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Lucas Oil Stadium in late April," 2 Apr. 2021 Residents, nonresidents and workers must submit a travel declaration and self-isolation plan through the state's portal. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "Planning holiday travel? Check COVID-19 travel restrictions by state," 11 Dec. 2020 Nebraska has confirmed 36,917 coronavirus cases and 421 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the state's tracking portal. Grant Schulte, Star Tribune, "Nebraska to end nearly all social distancing restrictions," 10 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective What to know: The Southeastern Conference’s leader in assists last season has entered the transfer portal while testing the NBA draft waters. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Where things stand with Kentucky basketball's point guard recruiting targets," 5 May 2021 Estrada, who entered the transfer portal last month, committed to Hofstra Monday night. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Former Oregon men’s basketball guard Aaron Estrada commits to Hofstra," 4 May 2021 Traub entered the portal March 22 and soon had 40 schools making inquiries. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, "Gary Traub departs Ohio State wrestling via transfer portal to Oregon State," 4 May 2021 The day after Auburn softball lost its final home series with three-straight one-run losses, its starting shortstop and third best batter Makenna Dowell entered the transfer portal according to a source. Giana Han, al, "Auburn softball’s Makenna Dowell enters transfer portal," 3 May 2021 Epps, meanwhile, entered the transfer portal last week and played significant downs in the spring game. Dallas News, "Texas TE Malcolm Epps, LB Juwan Mitchell transfer from Longhorns football," 3 May 2021 Last November, both McClain and his brother, former Trojan linebacker Abdul-Malik, first entered the portal as tensions between the family and the university were at their peak. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "Former USC receiver Munir McClain re-enters NCAA transfer portal," 3 May 2021 Ohio State basketball’s Ibrahima Diallo has entered the transfer portal after two years in Columbus. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Ohio State basketball’s Ibrahima Diallo enters the transfer portal," 3 May 2021 As far as the Cougars who entered the transfer portal themselves, Jesse Wade has decided to retire from basketball, Connor Harding signed with Utah Valley and Kolby Lee signed with Dixie State. Norma Gonzalez, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Eye on the Y: Lives will change tonight, especially Zach Wilson’s," 29 Apr. 2021

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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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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Portal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/portal. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for portal



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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