1. A doorway, entrance, or gate, especially one that is large and imposing.
2. An entrance or a means of entrance: the local library, a portal of knowledge.
3. The portal vein.
4. A website considered as an entry point to other websites, often by being or providing access to a search engine.
1. Of or relating to the portal vein or the portal system.
2. Of or relating to a point of entrance to an organ, especially the transverse fissure of the liver, through which the blood vessels enter.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin portāle, city gate, from neuter of portālis, of a gate, from Latin porta, gate; see per-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. N., sense 3 and adj., from New Latin porta (hepatis), transverse fissure (of the liver), literally gate of the liver, perhaps ultimately translation of Akkadian bāb (ekalli), gate (of the palace), umbilical fissure of the liver (next to the transverse fissure).]
(click for a larger image)portal
Shrine of Imam Reza
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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:
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.