Definition of larboard in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlärˌbôrd/
Pronunciation: /ˈlärbərd/


Archaic term for port3.
Example sentences
  • The young woman nodded, and turned away from the larboard.
  • Three men were at the back of the cannon ready to push, another two stood by with blocks to put behind the wheels to keep it from rolling back to larboard, and another two stood ready with lengths of lumber to hold the block in place.
  • He let out a sigh, tucked the new information aside, and stepped to join the conversation taking place to larboard.


Middle English ladebord (see lade1, board), referring to the side on which cargo was put aboard. The change to lar- in the 16th century was due to association with starboard.

  • port from Old English:

    Latin portus ‘haven or harbour’ is the source of our word port. Its nautical use to refer to the left side of a ship, the opposite of starboard (OE from ‘steer board’—early ships were steered with a paddle over the right side), dates from the mid 16th century and probably comes from the idea that this was the side of the ship where the loading hatch was fitted and was turned towards the quay when the ship was in port. It replaced an older word larboard, hardly surprising given the potential for confusion between the similar-sounding ‘starboard!’ and ‘larboard!’ when shouted into the teeth of a gale. While the second half of larboard is ‘board’, the origin of the first part is not known. The drink port is a shortened form of Oporto in Portugal, from which the wine was shipped. See also porter

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lar·board

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