1.1Someone employed by a religious society to distribute bibles and other religious tracts.
- Throughout the 1890s, Korean colporteurs worked with missionaries to distribute texts throughout the country.
- At one time it employed nearly 300 colporteurs, and virtually every parish in the country was visited by one of its men and his bag of books.
- E. G. Wheeler and his wife were the first Baptist chapel car colporteurs.
- Example sentences
- They were in the tradition of colportage, hawked by street pedlars who entered bars and workshops, or sold by tobacconists, newsagents, or at railway kiosks.
- Some of the Titanic instant books were produced by colportage publishing firms; others were published by firms specializing in children's books, travel narratives, political biographies, etc.
- It was instrumental in the colportage movement in America, a system of traveling Christian literature salesmen whose trade it was to distribute a mushrooming inventory of Gospel literature - tracts, pamphlets, books and magazines - in the streets, into the homes and churches, and across America.
Late 18th century: French, from the verb colporter, probably an alteration of comporter, from Latin comportare 'carry with one'.
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