port·​ly | \ ˈpȯrt-lē How to pronounce portly (audio) \
portlier; portliest

Definition of portly

2 : heavy or rotund of body : stout

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Other Words from portly

portliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for portly



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Examples of portly in a Sentence

a portly gentleman who clearly didn't get enough exercise walked with the portly grace of the grande dame that she was
Recent Examples on the Web He was locked away to serve several life sentences, aging into a portly man with a thick white beard. New York Times, 13 June 2021 One of my favorite shots is of a portly man in a business suit, rubbing his hands together over and over, in an age-old gesture of distress. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 14 Dec. 2020 Henry himself, looking more like the portly statesman of Hans Holbein’s famous portrait than a swashbuckling Renaissance man, rides in a procession at the bottom left. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 June 2020 Vasquez, the portly man whose cries of exaltation at a double rainbow turned him into a viral star, died at 57 on Saturday. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 11 May 2020 In January, 2003, in the body of a portly seafood merchant suffering a respiratory crisis, the virus reached a Guangzhou hospital. David Quammen, The New Yorker, 4 May 2020 The portly 36-year-old is a heavy smoker with a penchant for excess. David Pierson, Los Angeles Times, 21 Apr. 2020 During the modeling phase, family members asked Cleveland artist William T. Moore III to add more girth to the portly figure. Jeff Suess, Cincinnati.com, 16 Feb. 2020 The portly pitcher possesses some medical red flags. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 9 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'portly.' 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 portly

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for portly

port entry 3

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Time Traveler for portly

Time Traveler

The first known use of portly was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near portly

Port Louis


Port Macquarie pine

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Statistics for portly

Last Updated

19 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Portly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/portly. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for portly



English Language Learners Definition of portly

somewhat formal : having a round and somewhat fat body


port·​ly | \ ˈpȯrt-lē How to pronounce portly (audio) \
portlier; portliest

Kids Definition of portly

: having a round and heavy body : somewhat fat

More from Merriam-Webster on portly

Nglish: Translation of portly for Spanish Speakers


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