Definition of portly in English:


Syllabification: port·ly
Pronunciation: /ˈpôrtlē

adjective (portlier, portliest)

1(Especially of a man) having a stout body; somewhat fat.
More example sentences
  • Her portly body was perched on a small stool precariously, looking like she would fall off if she shifted even slightly.
  • Jack has the body of a portly, suited figure much given to lunching.
  • ‘It used to be a story that made us weep only,’ said Nabih al-Ibrahim, 42, a portly civil engineer running for a city council seat.
informal tubby, roly-poly, beefy, porky, pudgy
informal corn-fed
2 archaic Of a stately or dignified appearance and manner: he was a man of portly presence


late 15th century: from port5 in the sense 'bearing' + -ly1.



More example sentences
  • In June a House subcommittee held hearings on the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, which would prevent fat people from winning damages by blaming restaurants, food manufacturers, or retailers for their portliness.
  • The gentleman had had a propensity to a degree of portliness of late, but his tummy visibly trimmed as the canvass progressed, and he admitted to be wearing slacks into which he hadn't fitted for years.
  • Gone are the days when only the super-rich could afford to eat plenty, making portliness a sign of high social standing.

Definition of portly in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day deictic
Pronunciation: ˈdeɪktɪk
denoting a word whose meaning depends on context...