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

To learn more about the rulemaking schedule and comment on the online portals, visit the COGCC website: www.colorado.gov/cogcc. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "New rules for oil, gas flow lines up next for Colorado regulators," 5 Sep. 2019 The three seizure reports came through the FDA’s online safety portal, and the agency couldn’t formally verify that they were tied to Juul devices. Los Angeles Times, "Reports linking Juul e-cigarettes to seizures started FDA investigation," 29 Aug. 2019 This medieval-inspired stone castle flaunts arched portals, flying buttresses, towers, onion domes, a moat and a drawbridge. Tom Noel, The Know, "9 odd places that you should include on a Colorado road trip, from a giant hot dog to fake cliff dwellings," 25 Aug. 2019 The servers for one of the websites accessed via that portal, eBenefits, is based in San Antonio which is why the case is being prosecuted here by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Blackwell and other prosecutors with the Justice Department. Guillermo Contreras, ExpressNews.com, "Feds: San Antonio case is largest ID theft ever perpetrated on military veterans," 21 Aug. 2019 Even if the document was accepted, the online application portal has been down for weeks. Max Bearak, Washington Post, "This young Kenyan chess champion wants to take her moves abroad. The bureaucracy is keeping her in check.," 12 Aug. 2019 The woodland portal had been a landmark and curiosity since it was first photographed around 1898, Hamden town Historian David Johnson said. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "Police say Door Tree vandal arrested," 6 Aug. 2019 Turns out, the portal is near-impossible to open back up again, causing the machine to malfunction and fry the operators to goo. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Stranger Things Season 3," 5 July 2019 The state online portal also was unavailable after 9 p.m. each day. Phil Galewitz, latimes.com, "Arkansas’ Medicaid work requirement left people uninsured without boosting employment," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Floating homes rarely leave their permanent moorings, but one houseboat featured on Sausalito’s upcoming Floating Homes Tour is a portal to faraway places. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Sausalito houseboat a salute to modern Danish art and Hawaiian wood," 31 Aug. 2019 Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has taken the decision after basically all of its technical resources have migrated online to sites including docs.microsoft.com, the Visual Studio Subscriptions portal, and The Visual Studio Blog. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Microsoft’s MSDN Magazine is shutting down after more than 30 years," 7 Aug. 2019 But by far the biggest name on the portal among position players is Auburn shortstop Taylon Snow, a former No. 1 recruit out of Chino Hills, Calif. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive.com, "How many players is Oregon softball aiming to bring in via transfer portal?," 13 June 2019 At the group’s monthly public meeting last Tuesday, Moseley said the plan was to launch the data portal this week. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego’s police oversight board seeks more transparency," 3 Sep. 2019 Per the Associated Press’ Mike Corder, the portal offers new insights on the life of an individual most often remembered for his untimely death at age 42. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Thousands of Unseen Photographs, Documents Digitized for Prince Albert’s 200th Birthday," 26 Aug. 2019 The portal closes, dismantling the monster and finally ending the Mind Flayer’s reign of terror. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Stranger Things Season 3," 5 July 2019 Through the looking glass Broussard’s goal is to find out if that portal really exists and, if so, to open it in a methodical way. NBC News, "Scientists are searching for a mirror universe. It could be sitting right in front of you.," 30 June 2019 Neither the open budget platform or the yet-to-come data portal represent the Olszewski administration’s first foray into data visualization and open government practices. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County publishes open budget tool in transparency push," 11 June 2019

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

27 Sep 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).


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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