harbor

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Middle English herberwe, herberge, from Old English herebeorg ‘military quarters, hostelry’, from Proto-Germanic *harjabergō (compare West Frisian herberch ‘inn’, Dutch herberg ‘id.’, German Herberge ‘id.’), compound of *harjaz ‘army’ and *bergō ‘refuge, shelter’, deverbative of *ƀerʒanan ‘to protect, shelter’ (compare Old English beorgan). More at harry and bury.

Noun[edit]

harbor (plural harbors)

  1. A sheltered expanse of water, adjacent to land, in which ships may dock or anchor, especially for loading and unloading.
    A harbor, even if it is a little harbor, is a good thing, since adventurers come into it as well as go out, and the life in it grows strong, because it takes something from the world, and has something to give in return - Sarah Orne Jewett
  2. Any place of shelter.
    The neighborhood is a well-known harbor for petty thieves.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

harbor (third-person singular simple present harbors, present participle harboring, simple past and past participle harbored)

  1. (transitive) To provide a harbor or safe place for.
    • 2013 May-June, Katie L. Burke, “In the News”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 193: 
      Bats host many high-profile viruses that can infect humans, including severe acute respiratory syndrome and Ebola. A recent study explored the ecological variables that may contribute to bats’ propensity to harbor such zoonotic diseases by comparing them with another order of common reservoir hosts: rodents.
    The docks, which once harbored tall ships, now harbor only petty thieves.
  2. (intransitive) To take refuge or shelter in a protected expanse of water.
    The fleet harbored in the south.
  3. (transitive) To hold or persistently entertain in one's thoughts or mind.
    She harbors a conviction that her husband has a secret, criminal past.

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • harbor in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • harbor” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.
  • harbor” in Microsoft's Encarta World English Dictionary, North American Edition (2007)
  • harbor” in the Compact Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 2007)
  • Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary, 1987-1996.