Find the word definition

Crossword clues for portmanteau

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
portmanteau word
▪ He shut the door, turned and tripped straight over the portmanteau.
▪ Her shabby appearance and the battered portmanteau had weighed heavily against the genteel tone of her voice.
▪ Instead he took a sheaf of glossy photographs from his portmanteau and pushed them across the table towards the Corsican.
▪ Large green canvas portmanteau containing the personal effects of the late Victor Zenobia.
▪ Presently the port was gone and the fire gone and Tuppe had gone to sleep in the portmanteau.
▪ The portmanteau can't be found.
▪ The balancing slower growth was supplied by the portmanteau of miscellaneous services.
▪ The old man had disappeared outside again without a word, having set Theda's portmanteau down in the wide hall.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Portmanteau \Port*man"teau\, n.; pl. Portmanteaus. [F. porte-manteau; porter to carry + manteau a cloak, mantle. See Port to carry, and Mantle.] A bag or case, usually of leather, for carrying wearing apparel, etc., on journeys.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1580s, "traveling case or bag for clothes and other necessaries," from Middle French portemanteau "traveling bag," originally "court official who carried a prince's mantle" (1540s), from porte, imperative of porter "to carry" (see porter (n.1)) + manteau "cloak" (see mantle (n.)).\n

\nPortmanteau word "word blending the sound of two different words" (1882), coined by "Lewis Carroll" (Charles L. Dodgson, 1832-1898) for the sort of words he invented for "Jabberwocky," on notion of "two meanings packed up into one word." As a noun in this sense from 1872.


Etymology 1 n. 1 A large travelling case usually made of leather, and opening into two equal sections. 2 (context Australia dated English) A school bag; often shortened to ''port'' or ''school port'' Etymology 2

a. (context used only before a noun of a word, story, etc. English) Made by combining two (or more) words, stories, etc., in the manner of a linguistic portmanteau. n. (context linguistics English) A portmanteau word.

  1. n. a new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings; "`smog' is a blend of `smoke' and `fog'"; "`motel' is a portmanteau word made by combining `motor' and `hotel'"; "`brunch' is a well-known portmanteau" [syn: blend, portmanteau word]

  2. a large travelling bag made of stiff leather [syn: Gladstone, Gladstone bag]

  3. [also: portmanteaux (pl)]

Portmanteau (disambiguation)

A portmanteau is a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms, e.g., smog from smoke and fog.

Portmanteau may also refer to:

  • Portmanteau (luggage), a case or bag to carry clothes in that usually opens into two equally sized compartments
  • Portmanteau (mail), a specialized mail bag
  • Portmanteau film, a film made up of several short films that interrelate
  • Portmanteau inhibitor, in pharmaceuticals, a drug which molecularly combines the active portions of two inhibitor-class drugs
  • Portmanteau test, in statistics, a test applied to autocorrelations of a time series
  • Portmanteau theorem on convergence of measures in probability theory

A portmanteau (, ; plural portmanteaus or portmanteaux ) or portmanteau word is a linguistic blend of words, in which parts of multiple words, or their phones (sounds), and their meanings are combined into a new word. The word "portmanteau" comes from the French word for overcoat stand (porte manteau), where many coats may be placed on top of coats that are already on the stand, which continues to function as a coat stand.

A portmanteau word fuses both the sounds and the meanings of its components, as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog, or motel, from motor and hotel. In linguistics, a portmanteau is defined as a single morph that represents two or more morphemes.

The definition overlaps with the grammatical term contraction, but contractions are formed from words that would otherwise appear together in sequence, such as do and not to make don't, whereas a portmanteau word is formed by combining two or more existing words that all relate to a singular concept which the portmanteau describes. A portmanteau also differs from a compound, which does not involve the truncation of parts of the stems of the blended words. For instance, starfish is a compound, not a portmanteau, of star and fish; whereas a hypothetical portmanteau of star and fish might be stish.

Portmanteau (luggage)

A portmanteau is a piece of luggage, usually made of leather and opening into two equal parts. Some were large, upright, and hinged at the back and enabled hanging up clothes in one half, while others are much smaller bags (such as Gladstone bags) with two equally sized compartments. The word comes from the French word portemanteau (from porter meaning "to carry" and manteau meaning "coat"), which nowadays means a coat rack but was in the past also used to refer to a traveling case or bag for clothes.

Portmanteau (mail)

A portmanteau (, ; plural portmanteaux or portmanteaus) was a traveling bag (suitcase style) used as a mailbag. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, both newspapers and letters were transported in these leather mailbags that opened into two sections.

Usage examples of "portmanteau".

The fine high spirits of Captain Baster were somewhat dashed by his failure to find his keys and open his portmanteau, since he would be unable to ravish Mrs.

One hour having expired since he had come on board, he ordered his boat, and returned to the shore, and we saw no more of him until we arrived at Spithead, when his lordship came on board, accompanied by a person whom we soon discovered was a half pay purser in the navy: a man who, by dint of the grossest flattery and numerous little attentions, had so completely ingratiated himself with his patron, that he had become as necessary an appendage to the travelling equipage, as the portmanteau or the valet-de-chambre.

Strelley saw two porters scramble after his portmanteaux, had his valise reft from his hand, and that hand firmly grasped before he could frame his reply.

I dressed hastily, and after placing all my belongings in a portmanteau I followed him.

Judge, then, of their delight when, on this pleasant morning, as they were issuing from the garden of their cottage to go down to the sea, they caught sight of Tom Bakewell rushing up the road with a portmanteau on his shoulders, and, some distance behind him, discerned Adrian.

The burthens unstrapped from the pack-saddles very quickly furnished our den: a couple of quilts spread upon the floor, with a carpet-bag at the head of each, became capital sofas - portmanteaus, and hat-boxes, and writing-cases, and books, and maps, and gleaming arms soon lay strewed around us in pleasant confusion.

Thus determined, he packed up his necessaries in a portmanteau, attempted to amuse his creditors with promises of speedy payment, and, venturing to come forth in the dark, took a place in the Canterbury stage-coach, after having converted his superfluities into ready money.

When he returned that night to Brackenhurst with two large trunks, full of underclothing and so forth, he had to come round once more to the Monteiths, as Philip anticipated, to bring back the Gladstone bag and the brown portmanteau.

I had my portmanteau and all my belongings taken into my room, and having washed and put on my dressing-gown I sat down to write, to whom I did not know, for I was quite wrong in my contention.

So now having taken all measures, gliding among the portmanteaus, hand-barrows, and porters, and the clangorous bell ringing, he mounted, lithe and lank, into his place.

True enough, everything stood ready-packed--trunks, portmanteaux, and all.

Mancate Semhians, stumbling across portmanteaux crammed with lexicons and dictionaries and other tubes of the voice of Hermes, takes possession of berths in the ship Polypheme, bound, as they mutually conceive, for the biggest adventure ever embarked on by a far-thoughted, high-thoughted, patriotic pair speaking pure Saxon or other.

She was still more astonished by the discovery that the stranger was apparently superintending the removal from the chaise of a formidable quantity of portmanteaux and bandboxes.

He turned everything upside down, on the pretext that he was in search of a portmanteau full of salt--a highly contraband article.

He said he knew that a portmanteau had been landed there the evening before, which was quite true.