from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or an instance of carrying.
  • noun A charge for carrying.
  • noun The carrying of boats and supplies overland between two waterways or around an obstacle to navigation.
  • noun A track or route used for such carrying.
  • transitive & intransitive verb To transport or travel by portage.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of carrying; carriage; transportation.
  • noun That which is carried or transported; cargo; freight; baggage.
  • noun Tonnage; burden of a vessel.
  • noun The price paid for carriage; freight-charges.
  • noun A break in a chain of water-communication over which goods, boats, etc., have to be carried, as from one lake, river, or canal to another, or along the banks of rivers round waterfalls, rapids, or the like; a carry.
  • To carry; pack, as a boat around a portage.
  • To carry; proceed by carrying (a boat or load); make a portage.
  • noun An opening; a port or port-hole.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete A porthole.
  • verb To carry (goods, boats, etc.) overland between navigable waters.
  • noun The act of carrying or transporting.
  • noun The price of carriage; porterage.
  • noun obsolete Capacity for carrying; tonnage.
  • noun A carry between navigable waters. See 3d Carry.
  • noun A sailor's wages when in port.
  • noun The amount of a sailor's wages for a voyage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An act of carrying, especially the carrying of a boat overland between two waterways
  • noun The route used for such carrying
  • noun A charge made for carrying something
  • verb nautical To carry a boat overland

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun overland track between navigable waterways
  • noun the cost of carrying or transporting
  • noun carrying boats and supplies overland


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, from porter, to carry, from Latin portāre; see per- in Indo-European roots.]


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  • "We had traded our slightly too small aluminum canoe for a much too big dugout. In this vessel, carved from a single tree, seventeen Indians at one time travelled with us. With all their baggage added to ours and everyone aboard, the vast canoe still looked rather empty. Portaging it, this time with only four or five Indians to help, over half a mile of boulders beside a large waterfall, was depressing to contemplate."

    - Jean Liedloff, 'The Continuum Concept', 1975.

    October 25, 2011