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Webster 1913 Edition


Portly

Port′ly

,
Adj.
[From
Port
demeanor.]
1.
Having a dignified port or mien; of a noble appearance; imposing.
2.
Bulky; corpulent.
“A portly personage.”
Dickens.

Webster 1828 Edition


Portly

PORTLY

,
Adj.
[from port.] Grand or dignified in mien; of a noble appearance and carriage.
1.
Bulky; corpulent.

Definition 2022


portly

portly

English

Adjective

portly (comparative portlier, superlative portliest)

  1. Somewhat fat, pudgy, overweight. [from 15th c.]
    • 1824, Washington Irving, Tales of a Traveller, Introduction:
      Indeed, the poor man has grown ten times as nervous as ever, since he has discovered, on such good authority, who the stout gentleman was. . . . He has anxiously endeavored to call up a recollection of what he saw of that portly personage; and has ever since kept a curious eye on all gentlemen of more than ordinary dimensions.
    • 1913, P. G. Wodehouse, The Little Nugget, ch. 14:
      His portly middle section, rising beyond like a small hill, heaved rhythmically.
    • 2011 July 6, Nick Carbone, "Top 10 Worst Fictional Camp Counselors," Time (retrieved 8 May 2014):
      In Heavyweights, Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller) is a fitness guru who installs himself as the über-buff leader of Camp Hope, with the goal of helping portly youngsters shed their saggy stomachs and thunder thighs.
  2. (now rare) Having a dignified bearing; handsome, imposing. [from 15th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.2:
      Portly his person was, and much increast
      Through his Heroicke grace and honourable gest.
    • 1728, Jonathan Swift, "A Dialogue between Mad Mullinix and Timothy":
      Be studious well to imitate
      My portly motion, mien, and gait

Usage notes

  • When used to refer to someone who is overweight, portly is a less harsh term than fat.

Synonyms

  • See also Wikisaurus:obese

Derived terms

Translations

See also

  • portly at OneLook Dictionary Search