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- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɔːtli/
Audio (UK) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈpɔɹtli/, /ˈpoʊɹtli/
- (General Australian) IPA(key): /ˈpoːtliː/
- Somewhat fat, pudgy, overweight. [from 15th c.]
- 1824, Geoffrey Crayon [pseudonym; Washington Irving], “Introduction”, in Tales of a Traveller, part 1 (Strange Stories. […]), Philadelphia, Pa.: H[enry] C[harles] Carey & I[saac] Lea, […], OCLC 864083:
- 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.
- 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, chapter 32, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299, page 151:
- In the length he attains, and in his baleen, the Fin-back resembles the right whale, but is of a less portly girth, and a lighter colour, approaching to olive.
- 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.
- (now rare) Having a dignified bearing; handsome, imposing. [from 15th c.]
- c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], part 1, 2nd edition, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act I, scene ii:
- He ſends this Souldans daughter rich and braue,
To be my Queene and portly Empereſſe, […]
- 1728, Jonathan Swift, "A Dialogue between Mad Mullinix and Timothy":
- Be studious well to imitate
- My portly motion, mien, and gait
- When used to refer to someone who is overweight, portly is a less harsh term than fat.
- See also Thesaurus:obese
euphemism for fat
- portly at OneLook Dictionary Search