1. A grooved timber in which something slides.
a. A section of stage scenery placed in a wing of a theater.
b. The space between such pieces of scenery, through which an actor can make an entrance or exit.
c. A backstage area in a theater.
[French, from Old French (porte) couleice, sliding door; see PORTCULLIS.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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:
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.