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port·man·teau (pôrt-măntō, pôrtmăn-tō)
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n. pl. port·man·teaus or port·man·teaux (-tōz, -tōz)
1. A large leather suitcase that opens into two hinged compartments.
2.
a. A word formed by merging the sounds and meanings of two different words, as chortle, from chuckle and snort. Also called portmanteau word.
b. A word or part of a word that is analyzable as consisting of more than one morpheme without a clear boundary between them, as French du "of the" from de "of" and le "the." Also called portmanteau morph.
adj.
General or generalized: a portmanteau description; portmanteau terms.

[French portemanteau : porte-, from porter, to carry (from Old French; see PORT5) + manteau, cloak (from Old French mantel, from Latin mantellum). N., senses 2a and b, in reference to Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, in which Humpty Dumpty explains slithy and other made-up words in the poem "Jabberwocky" to Alice as follows: "Slithy" means "lithe and slimy" ... You see it's like a portmanteauthere are two meanings packed up into one word.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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