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

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 Central European Press and Media Foundation’s assets will include cable news channels, internet news portals, tabloid and sports newspapers and all of Hungary’s county newspapers, several radio stations and numerous magazines, among others. Pablo Gorondi, The Seattle Times, "Huge pro-government media conglomerate formed in Hungary," 28 Nov. 2018 Initially, the state’s medical cannabis regulations required the Health Department to post a database of patient names to an online portal called JNET, used by 38,000 law enforcement professionals in the state. Sam Wood, Philly.com, "Pa. regulators reverse course; Medical marijuana won't stop patient gun purchases," 12 Jan. 2018 In 2005 the Justice Department sued the National Association of Realtors to force an end to a NAR practice that allowed traditional brokers to withhold listings from new web portals. Jack Ryan And Jonathan Friedland, WSJ, "When You Buy or Sell a Home, Realty Bites," 3 Mar. 2019 These, of course, are the portals to the world that dozens of artists explore, critique and celebrate in the show proper, a somewhat frenetic assemblage situated inside the museum’s fourth-floor galleries. Steve Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "MCA's new 'I Was Raised on the Internet' exhibition asks what the web has done to us," 2 July 2018 The entire door weighs just 21 pounds, less than half of the 720S’s 55-pound portals. Basem Wasef, WIRED, "McLaren's $958,966 Senna Hypercar Ain't Pretty, but It Can Whip a Track," 30 June 2018 Are portals delivering on their promise to engage patients? Sandra G. Boodman, Washington Post, "Without Context Or Cushion, Do Online Medical Results Make Sense?," 27 Mar. 2018 Satellite images had shown buildings around the portals coming down in the lead-up to the site’s closure. Anna Fifield, Anchorage Daily News, "North Korea declares its nuclear test site closed after a ‘huge explosion’," 24 May 2018 Based on data from Shodan, the Capricorn portal for paying Atlanta water bills used Apache Tomcat, and one of the court information systems had an open RDP port, as well as Server Message Block (SMB) networking visible from the public Internet. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Baltimore’s 911 system, Boeing join Atlanta in week of crypto-malware outbreaks," 29 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Labor Department received nearly 100,000 temporary worker visa requests in the first five minutes of New Year’s Day, an unprecedented demand that caused the online submissions portal to crash, the government said Wednesday. Ruth Simon, WSJ, "Government Visa Website Sidelined by Record Demand," 2 Jan. 2019 Also in July, the share of price cuts on active listings in Orange County was 22%, up from 18% the previous July, according to listings portal Realtor.com. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Warren Buffett Slashes Price on Longtime Beach House," 24 Aug. 2018 That has been the case in Atlanta, where attackers proactively took down their payment portal after local media publicly exposed the address, resulting in a flood of inquiries, with law enforcement like the FBI close behind. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "The Ransomware That Hobbled Atlanta Will Strike Again," 30 Mar. 2018 Sabine Schmidtke of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., the portal aims to preserve, study and make available online the rich patrimony of Zaydi texts. Christian C. Sahner, WSJ, "Yemen’s Threatened Cultural Heritage," 25 Dec. 2018 All of the galleries have portal holes that filter sunlight from above into the underground space. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Otherworldly new museum is built into a sand dune," 17 Dec. 2018 In fact, the pieces are set apart, decisively framed on the wall, edged by light and lines, creating portal-like spaces that don’t really lead anywhere or take us out of the actuality of looking. Gayle Clemans, The Seattle Times, "Artists at Winston Wächter gallery construct enticing ‘Summer Dreams’," 30 July 2018 The number of riders dropped from 2.7 million in 2015 to 2.4 million in 2017, according to the city’s data portal. Elvia Malagon, chicagotribune.com, "Green and quiet? That's what CTA says new fleet of electric buses will deliver," 13 June 2018 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

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

12 Apr 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

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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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).


having no equal

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