por·​ta·​ble | \ ˈpȯr-tə-bəl How to pronounce portable (audio) \

Definition of portable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : capable of being carried or moved about a portable TV
b : characterized by portability a portable pension
c : usable on many computers with little or no modification portable software
2 archaic : bearable



Definition of portable (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is portable

Other Words from portable


portably \ ˈpȯr-​tə-​blē How to pronounce portable (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for portable

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of portable in a Sentence

Adjective Portable devices such as MP3 players are becoming increasingly popular.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Anker’s slim portable charger is slim, affordable and just plain works. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 1 Nov. 2021 Buyers of plug-in vehicles are also eligible for rebates worth $2000 to install a home charger, $600 to buy a portable Level 2 charger, or a $500 public charging card. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, 9 Oct. 2021 Barbecue lovers can snag two popular charcoal styles — the Cuisinart portable charcoal grill and Char-Griller patio pro charcoal grill — for under $100 this weekend. Janine Puhak, PEOPLE.com, 8 Aug. 2021 The result is portable grill that may well offer adventurous pit masters the most fun this side of an outdoor kitchen. Andy Wang, Robb Report, 4 Aug. 2021 The new elementary school would allow Rolling Meadows Elementary, which has close to 900 students, to move them out of its portable classrooms, said Bill Atkins, the assistant superintendent of finance, in an email. Claire Bryan, San Antonio Express-News, 31 Oct. 2021 Four other schools are also using portable classrooms, but no more than three per school, per the district's presentation on Tuesday. Mj Slaby, The Indianapolis Star, 28 Oct. 2021 Late last week the European Union proposed a new regulation that would solve this problem by requiring all small electronics (including phones, tablets, portable speakers and cameras) to have the same type of charging port. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, 27 Sep. 2021 Sonos is also expanding beyond the home market, to portable speakers, automotive audio, and likely into the headphones market. Trefis Team, Forbes, 23 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Apple touts its new notebooks as delivering the power of high-powered PC desktops in a portable. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 26 Oct. 2021 While there appeared to be strict COVID-19 rules inside the classroom, both students said that there appeared to be no rules inside the small portable, where a masked staff member was present. Fox News, 28 Sep. 2021 It’s an upscale portable oven that’s about a fourth the size of a standard wall oven. Scott Kramer, Forbes, 19 Mar. 2021 But in the reveal of the new product there was a lot of detail, and one of these referred to the company’s previous portable, the Sonos Move. David Phelan, Forbes, 9 Mar. 2021 And a device that portable is easy to lose, giving ne’er-do-wells free reign over your information. Whitson Gordon, Wired, 20 Aug. 2020 Since then, Sony's PSP and Vita portables stand out for using expensive and cumbersome proprietary memory card formats. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 16 Mar. 2020 Bose SoundLink Color II portable Bluetooth speaker for $99 at Amazon and B&H (normally $129). Ars Staff, Ars Technica, 7 May 2020 Bose SoundLink Color II portable Bluetooth speaker for $99 at Amazon and B&H (normally $129). Ars Staff, Ars Technica, 28 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'portable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of portable


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1708, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for portable


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin portabilis, from Latin portare to carry — more at fare

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best laptops of 2021.

Learn More About portable

Time Traveler for portable

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near portable




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for portable

Last Updated

20 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Portable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/portable. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for portable



English Language Learners Definition of portable

: easy to carry or move around


por·​ta·​ble | \ ˈpȯr-tə-bəl How to pronounce portable (audio) \

Kids Definition of portable

: easy or possible to carry or move about a portable television

More from Merriam-Webster on portable

Nglish: Translation of portable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of portable for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!