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


blubbery, chubby, corpulent, fat, fleshy, full, gross, lardy, obese, overweight, plump, podgy [chiefly British], pudgy, replete, roly-poly, rotund, round, tubby


lean, skinny, slender, slim, spare, thin

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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

Manatees gotta eat No animals gobble up more of that money than the zoo's four portly manatees. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "It takes a lot of green to buy greens for manatees. Here's how the Cincinnati Zoo spends your money," 24 June 2019 Some posted pictures of Winnie the Pooh, whose image disappeared from the internet in China after too many comparisons were made to the portly President Xi Jinping. Shan Li, WSJ, "Latest Funding Values Reddit at $3 Billion," 11 Feb. 2019 Vignon clearly relishes being at the center of the storm, with reporters now beating a path to the Vercors plateau in southeastern France where the portly priest ministers. John Leicester, Fox News, "In France, rebel priest takes on church bosses on sex abuse," 6 Sep. 2018 But the good news for prospective Taycan buyers is that the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is one portly machine, due to its combination of powerplants, gas and electric. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Porsche's latest Panamera offers a tantalizing peek at the coming Taycan electric sedan," 8 June 2018 Others said the portly 72-year-old would shout obscenities in his front yard when some chore went awry. Tony Bizjak, Anita Chabria, Dale Kasler, Nashelly Chavez And Diana Lambert, sacbee, "He was quirky and complex. But they never thought the former cop next door could be notorious," 25 Apr. 2018 Toss in his portly stature and Hoskins was a perfect choice for the heroic plumber Mario, the avenging angel who stomps through worlds of evil turtles and living mushrooms, even if the actor was neither Italian nor American. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Dazzling Failures of Super Mario Bros.," 31 May 2018 Dean Nolan seamlessly and delightfully plays multiple roles — Laura’s pipe-smoking, portly husband; a singing usher; the judgmental friend; and the lover of the teashop lady. Toby Zinman, Philly.com, "Delightful update of Noel Coward's 'Brief Encounter' at Empire Cinema in London," 16 May 2018 One of our favorites, Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen, features a naked boy baked in a cake by portly bakers with Hitler mustaches. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Five Early Lessons in Parenting," 5 May 2018

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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Statistics for portly

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for portly

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on portly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with portly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for portly

Spanish Central: Translation of portly

Nglish: Translation of portly for Spanish Speakers

Comments on portly

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characterized by aphorism

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