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por·ter 1 (pôrtər)
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n.
1. A person employed to carry burdens, especially an attendant who carries travelers' baggage at a hotel or transportation station.
2. A railroad employee who waits on passengers in a sleeping car or parlor car.
3. A maintenance worker for a building or institution.

[Middle English portour, from Anglo-Norman, from Late Latin portātor, from Latin portāre, to carry; see per-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
por·ter 2 (pôrtər)
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n.
Chiefly British
One in charge of a gate or door.

[Middle English, from Anglo-Norman, from Late Latin portārius, from Latin porta, gate; see per-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
por·ter  3 (pôrtər)
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n.
A dark beer resembling light stout, made from malt browned or charred by drying at a high temperature.

[Short for porter's ale (probably so called because it was favored by laborers in the 1700s).]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Porter, William Sydney Pen name O. Henry 1862-1910.
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American writer whose short stories, noted for their often surprising endings, are collected in such volumes as Cabbages and Kings (1904) and The Four Million (1906).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Porter, Rodney Robert 1917-1985.
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British biochemist. He shared a 1972 Nobel Prize for research on the molecular structure of antibodies.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Porter, Katherine Anne 1890-1980.
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American writer known for her carefully crafted short stories as well as her novel Ship of Fools (1962). She won a Pulitzer Prize for her Collected Stories (1965).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Porter, Edwin Stanton 1869-1941.
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American filmmaker whose The Life of an American Fireman and The Great Train Robbery (both 1903) were among the first effectively edited films.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Por·ter (pôrtər), Cole Albert 1891-1964.
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American composer and lyricist remembered for his witty and sophisticated Broadway scores for musicals such as Anything Goes (1934).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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