Definition of portable in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɔːtəb(ə)l/


1Able to be easily carried or moved, especially because being of a lighter and smaller version than usual: a portable television
More example sentences
  • Mr McDowell said afterwards a simple mistake had caused the fire after a child carried a portable television into the kitchen and left it on top of a cooker where it began to smoulder before catching fire.
  • A colleague had a tiny portable television with a black and white screen.
  • Not to stop with a portable television, mini table fan, handgrips in steel chains, the rider shows his obsession for siren and mini cone speaker.
transportable, movable, mobile, transferable, easily carried, easy to carry, conveyable, travelling, travel;
lightweight, compact, handy, convenient, manageable
rare portative
1.1 Computing (Of software) able to be transferred from one machine or system to another: portable versions of IBM’s Systems Network Architecture technology
More example sentences
  • The same factors that made hardware-centric database machines obsolete in favor of portable database software are now at play in the storage market.
  • So I read this section wondering whether OS X apps were somehow portable to other OSes.
  • System and method for controlling data transfer between multiple interconnected computer systems with a portable input device
1.2British (Of a loan or pension) capable of being transferred or adapted in altered circumstances.
Example sentences
  • The banking services include payment of interest on current accounts, portable credit history and an unbundling of banking services.
  • What Europe clearly needs is portable pensions - retirement packages that its workers can take anywhere.
  • This loan is portable, which means that you can transfer it to a home of equal or greater value.


1A small version of something, such as a television, that can be easily carried: the notes had been typed on an old portable with a faded ribbon
More example sentences
  • Investigators found five portable stoves containing charcoal in the vehicle and its windows sealed with tape from the inside.
  • The trouble is that they forget that people do not carry portable, battery-operated apartments around in their pockets.
  • There will be no fans, the units will have to run cool enough for it to be comfortable to carry them around (think how people would have laughed if you'd predicted portables too hot to carry ten years ago).
1.1North American A small transportable building used as a classroom.
Example sentences
  • Surely the Dems would have no further need for the single-story portables - modular buildings are just about the only answer the district has come up with for its overcrowding problems.
  • Tracy groaned fearfully as she paces back and forth alone around the stairs going up to the B building and the portables.
  • Former student and teacher Pat Paxton remembers many teens being late because they couldn't get from portables to their classrooms in the five minutes allotted.



Example sentences
  • No longer do you go to the store, the library, the showroom, or even your place of work; they can come to you as the portably virtual.
  • This ubiquity and open-source freedom lets you publish and share your documents portably and freely among platforms.


Late Middle English: from Old French portable, from late Latin portabilis, from Latin portare 'carry'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: port|able

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