1 of 2


por·​tal ˈpȯr-tᵊl How to pronounce portal (audio)
: door, entrance
especially : a grand or imposing one
: the whole architectural composition surrounding and including the doorways and porches of a church
: the approach or entrance to a bridge or tunnel
: a communicating part or area of an organism
specifically : the point at which something (such as a pathogen) enters the body
: 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


2 of 2


: of or relating to the transverse fissure on the underside of the liver where most of the vessels enter
: of, relating to, or being a portal vein or a portal system
portal circulation

Example Sentences

Noun 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
Expect more names to enter the portal after the season, but one of the best available shooters right now is former Towson star Nicolas Timberlake. Ryan Black, The Courier-Journal, 20 Mar. 2023 Redshirt freshman forward Isaiah Barnes has entered the transfer portal, a program spokesman confirmed to the Free Press. Tony Garcia, Detroit Free Press, 20 Mar. 2023 McKinney entered the transfer portal after the season, as did many Mustangs. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, 19 Mar. 2023 Both could enter the transfer portal or attempt to go to the NBA. Nubyjas Wilborn | , al, 19 Mar. 2023 Afterward, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Klubnik would be his starter in the Orange Bowl, and Uiagalelei quickly entered the transfer portal in search of a fresh start. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, 16 Mar. 2023 He's headed to Wofford (though Wofford Jay McAuley resigned from the program midway through the year, and Kimberly grad Jackson Paveletzke has entered the transfer portal after winning the SoCon Freshman of the Year). Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 16 Mar. 2023 Jackson-Davis never entered the transfer portal across four seasons at Indiana. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, 16 Mar. 2023 The first step was reloading on talent through the transfer portal. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2023 See More

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.

Word History



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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1754, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of portal was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near portal

Cite this Entry

“Portal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/portal. Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a large or imposing door or entrance
: a website serving as a guide or point of entry to the Internet


Middle English portal "door, the structure around a door," from early French portal (same meaning), derived from Latin portalis (adjective) "of a gate," from porta "gate, passage" — related to port entry 2

Medical Definition


1 of 2 noun
por·​tal ˈpȯrt-ᵊl How to pronounce portal (audio)
: a communicating part or area of an organism: as
: the point at which something enters the body
portals of infection


2 of 2 adjective
: of or relating to the porta hepatis
: of, relating to, or being a portal vein or a portal system
portal blood
portal circulation

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Por·​tal ˈpȯr-tᵊl How to pronounce Portal (audio)
Charles Frederick Algernon 1893–1971 1st Viscount Portal of Hungerford British air marshal

More from Merriam-Webster on portal

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