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

Moving forward, Murphy notes that the researchers hope to create a real-time monitoring system capable of assessing players on the field, as well as gather crowdsourced data through their Open Brain Project portal. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "One Concussion-Free Football Season Can Still Damage Players’ Brains," 15 Aug. 2019 On the ground underneath its 20-foot-high portal can still be seen deep ruts from the traffic that passed into the city along the busy imperial highways. Rubén Montoya, National Geographic, "The Sahara buried this ancient Roman city—preserving it for centuries," 30 July 2019 The tech company went on to say that there’s no evidence the vulnerability was ever exploited, and that it was made aware of the bug through its portal that allows users to report security issues. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Apple Watch eavesdropping vulnerability pushes tech giant to disable Walkie-Talkie app," 11 July 2019 Shih was then able to access the company’s computer systems via its web portal. Colleen Shalby, latimes.com, "UCLA professor faces 219 years in prison for conspiring to send U.S. missile chips to China," 11 July 2019 The narrow door of the traditional tea-house, Mr Yajima explains, forbade clients to carry divisive marks of distinction (such as swords) through its portals. B.t., The Economist, "The ambivalent history of the Camellia sinensis leaf," 10 July 2019 In its first five years of operation in the 1920s, more than 20 million Chicagoans went through its portals into a fantastical world apart, one that Rapp and Rapp had wanted to resemble such creations as the Palace of Versailles. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Uptown Theatre will be restored: $75 million plan unveiled for grand palace on North Side," 28 June 2018 Through its online legal portal, RAICES has identified 453 children separated from their parents. Silvia Foster-frau, San Antonio Express-News, "RAICES hotline aims to help reunite immigrant families," 28 June 2018 As a result, the report said, the Office of Health Affairs decided against moving the portal inside the Department of Homeland Security’s firewall. Los Angeles Times, "It was sensitive data from a U.S. anti-terror program – and terrorists could have gotten to it for years, records show," 25 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Address: 2 Issaquah (Use the path to the right of the Issaquah Dock entrance and enter through the Indian carved portal leading to the lagoon-side entrance. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Sausalito’s ‘White Elephant’ houseboat filled with whimsy, art," 31 Aug. 2019 Residents can register for the campout and other fall activities through the Recreation Department’s online portal at wellesleyma.gov/600/recreation or by calling 781-235-2370. John Hilliard, BostonGlobe.com, "Go camping right in Wellesley with the family," 21 Aug. 2019 By the 18th century, some 30,000 slaves stepped through the portal per year. Fox News, "Pelosi, Omar, other members of Congress to visit Ghana, US Army Africa headquarters in Italy," 27 July 2019 The network is highly localized; a user with a Boston address, for example, can’t see what’s happening in the Neighbors portal for Quincy. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "Amazon rings in police help for sales of doorbell security cameras," 28 Aug. 2019 But remember: The portal to the whole world is in your home, too, in your pocket and purse. Petula Dvorak, The Denver Post, "White supremacists are recruiting white teens online. Parents must stop them.," 18 Aug. 2019 The site is now a portal to tech culture for millions of people. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "The Lonely Work of Moderating Hacker News," 8 Aug. 2019 The new services will soon be made available to all Sony/ATV songwriters who are signed up to the publisher’s SCORE royalty portal app. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Sony/ATV Upgrades Royalty Payment System for Songwriters," 31 July 2019 As of September 28th, Pie still hasn’t shown up on Google’s developer portal chart, which the company says omits any version of Android running on fewer than 0.1 percent of devices. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Over 75 percent of Pixel users are on Android Pie," 15 Oct. 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 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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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