By the Roots: Portare: to carry; access, gateway

Take this opportunity to learn how the root "port-" carries the meaning of words like "report" (carried back), "support" (carried under), "transport" (carried across) and "important" (carried into). The root "port-" also has to do with doorways, as in "portal," and even "port," a gateway to land from a waterway.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. deportment
    the way a person behaves toward other people
    He has been represented as a mild, peaceable person, and gentlemanly in deportment.Stark, James H.
    When we speak of someone's deportment, we are speaking of the way that person acts in society, the way he carries himself: Does he slouch or stand tall? Is he rude or respectful? Does he seek attention or is he shy? Does he appear confident or unsure of himself? A person's manner of speech, dress, eating, and posture are all features of deportment. The prefix "de-" means "toward" in this word; the root "port-" means "carriage" and the suffix "-ment" makes this word a noun.
  2. deport
    expel from a country
    He had immigrated illegally from Honduras and feared being deported.
    Although the words "deport" and "deportment" are close relatives, they are close relatives who have taken very different paths in language. The verb "deport," having a negative connotation, means to be forced to leave a country if you are not a citizen. People who are deported are called "deportees." The process of deporting a person is called "deportation."
  3. opportune
    suitable or advantageous especially for a particular purpose
    The opportune words were so amusing, that every one, Mr. Gilroy included, simply roared.Roy, Lillian Elizabeth
    We say that events happen at "opportune" moments, or, moments when opportunity is at its best for those events. The opposite is "inopportune," meaning, to occur at a bad time, a time of no opportunity. We say that "opportunity knocks," and that is an appropriate saying, when you consider that the root "port-" means "doorway."
  4. importune
    beg persistently and urgently
    A beggar, emerging from the darkness, importuned him: "Have pity on me, kind sir."Souvestre, Émile
    The word "importune" is one of those words that has gone out of fashion for some reason. Instead of saying "importune" in conversation, we just say "beg" or "plead." But, in literature that was written at some in the past, we do encounter this word, along with "beseech," which means the same as "importune," and which is also out of fashion in modern conversation.
  5. supportive
    furnishing assistance
    He was also a “friendly, supportive warm guy,” Zeelenberg said.
    People can be supportive when they listen attentively, offer tactful suggestions, celebrate your victories and cheer you up and keep you going when you fail. A supportive person "carries" you by holding you up. The prefix "sup-" is another form of "sub-" and means the same thing, which is "under."
  6. export
    sell or transfer abroad
    Bangladesh's garment industry accounts for 80 percent of the country's exports.
    The prefix "ex-" means "out of," and since the root "port-" means "carry," we get "carried out of." "Export" can be a verb that takes a direct object (Costa Rica exports bananas.) In the example sentence, we see "export" used as a noun.
  7. import
    bring in from abroad
    Power plants run on expensive imported fuel, mainly diesel.
    "Import," being the opposite of "export" means "carry in." The opposite of imported goods would be domestic, or home-grown, goods. Consumers usually pay more for the goods that they import because of transportation costs and other costs of international trade.
  8. rapport
    a relationship of mutual understanding between people
    The word " rapport" is pronounced as if it were French (ra-pore). We often hear this word used in business situations, where people act in a helpful and cordial manner to establish rapport, or, etymologically speaking, to open doors.
  9. comport
    behave in a certain manner
    “If your wares comport with your manners,” she said, “you will be welcome at the palace.Tracy, Louis
    Because the prefix "com-" means "with," and the root "port-" means "to carry," the word "comport," at its root, means "to carry with." We often use it to mean "to go along with," as in the example sentence. When we say that something "comports with" something else or someone, we mean that they are a good match.
  10. portable
    easily or conveniently transported
    PC shipments are falling as customers delay upgrades in favor of fast-growing, more portable tablets.Forbes (May 8, 2013)
    When something is "portable," it is easily carried.
  11. porter
    a person employed to carry luggage and supplies
    Many think Sherpas are just porters, which is not true.
    A porter is, simply, a person who carries things for another person. A golf caddie is a kind of porter. In the example sentence, we see that a Sherpa is more than a porter. Sherpas are skilled guides and assistants to those who climb the Himalayas in Tibet and Nepal.

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