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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English port-reve etc., from Old English portgerēfa etc., from port (a walled market town) +‎ gerēfa (reeve).


portreeve (plural portreeves)

  1. A borough-reeve: an office equivalent to a mayor (historical) in several major English towns or (dialect) in various minor boroughs of Wales and Southwest England.
    • 1772, Jacob's Law Dictionary:
      Instead of the portgreve [of London], Richard the first ordained two bailiffs, but presently after him King John granted them a mayor for their yearly magistrate.
  2. (historical) A municipal office subordinate to a mayor, (especially) a bailiff.
  3. (historical) A port reeve, a port warden.

Derived terms[edit]


  • Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. "portreeve, n." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 2006.