Last modified on 8 February 2015, at 05:29



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Alternative formsEdit


Etymology 1Edit

From French portemanteau, literally porte (carry) + manteau (coat)


portmanteau (plural portmanteaus or portmanteaux)

  1. A large travelling case usually made of leather, and opening into two equal sections.
    • 1667, Charles Croke, Fortune's Uncertainty:
      Rodolphus therefore finding such an earnest Invitation, embrac'd it with thanks, and with his Servant and Portmanteau, went to Don Juan's; where they first found good Stabling for their Horses, and afterwards as good Provision for themselves.
  2. (Australia, dated) A school bag; often shortened to port or school port

Etymology 2Edit

Coined by Lewis Carroll in Through The Looking Glass to describe the words he coined in Jabberwocky.


portmanteau (plural portmanteaus or portmanteaux)

  1. (linguistics) A portmanteau word.


portmanteau (not comparable)

  1. (used only before a noun, of a word, story, etc.) Made by combining two (or more) words, stories, etc., in the manner of a linguistic portmanteau.
    • 2002, Nicholas Lezard, Spooky tales by the master and friends in The Guardian (London) (December 14, 2002) page 30:
      The overall narrator of this portmanteau story - for Dickens co-wrote it with five collaborators on his weekly periodical, All the Year Round - expresses deep, rational scepticism about the whole business of haunting.
    • 2002, Nick Bradshaw, One day in September in Time Out (December 11, 2002) Page 71:
      We're so bombarded with images, it's a struggle to preserve our imaginations.' In response, he's turned to cinema, commissioning 11 film-makers to contribute to a portmanteau film, entitled '11'09"01' and composed of short films each running 11 minutes, nine seconds and one frame.

Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit