What does harbour mean?

Definitions for harbour
ˈhɑr bərhar·bour

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word harbour.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. seaport, haven, harbor, harbournoun

    a sheltered port where ships can take on or discharge cargo

  2. harbor, harbournoun

    a place of refuge and comfort and security

  3. harbor, harbourverb

    secretly shelter (as of fugitives or criminals)

  4. harbor, harbourverb

    keep in one's possession; of animals

  5. harbor, harbour, shieldverb

    hold back a thought or feeling about

    "She is harboring a grudge against him"

  6. harbor, harbour, hold, entertain, nurseverb

    maintain (a theory, thoughts, or feelings)

    "bear a grudge"; "entertain interesting notions"; "harbor a resentment"


  1. harbournoun

    Shelter, refuge.

  2. harbournoun

    A place of shelter or refuge.

    The neighbourhood is a well-known harbour for petty thieves.

  3. harbournoun

    A house of the zodiac.

  4. harbournoun

    A sheltered area for ships; a piece of water adjacent to land in which ships may stop to load and unload.

    The city has an excellent natural harbour.

  5. harbourverb

    To provide shelter or refuge for.

    The docks, which once harboured tall ships, now harbour only petty thieves.

  6. harbourverb

    To accept, as with a belief.

    That scientist harbours the belief that God created humans.

  7. Etymology: From herber, herberge, from herebeorg, from harjaz + bergô, equivalent to here + gebeorg. Cognate with Old Norse herbergi (whence the Icelandic herbergi), Dutch herberg, German Herberge ‘hospice’, Swedish härbärge. Compare also French auberge. More at here, borrow.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. HARBOURnoun

    Etymology: herberge, French; herberg, Dutch; albergo, Italian.

    For harbour at a thousand doors they knock’d;
    Not one of all the thousand but was lock’d. John Dryden, Fables.

    Doubly curs’d
    Be all those easy fools who give it harbour. Nicholas Rowe, J. Shore.

    Three of your argosies
    Are richly come to harbour suddenly. William Shakespeare, Merch. of Ven.

    They leave the mouths of Po,
    That all the borders of the town o’erflow;
    And spreading round in one continu’d lake,
    A spacious hospitable harbour make. Joseph Addison, on Italy.

  2. To Harbourverb

    My lady bids me tell you, that though she harbours you as her uncle, she’s nothing allied to your disorders. William Shakespeare.

    Knaves I know, which in this plainness
    Harbour more craft, and more corrupter ends,
    Than twenty silky ducking observants,
    That stretch their duties nicely. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Let not your gentle breast harbour one thought
    Of outrage from the king. Nicholas Rowe, Royal Convert.

    We owe this old house the same kind of gratitude that we do to an old friend who harbours us in his declining condition, nay even in his last extremities. Alexander Pope.

    How people, so greatly warmed with a sense of liberty, should be capable of harbouring such weak superstition; and that so much bravery and so much folly can inhabit the same breasts. Alexander Pope.

    Harbour yourself this night in this castle, because the time requires it; and, in truth, this country is very dangerous for murthering thieves to trust a sleeping life among them. Philip Sidney.

  3. To Harbourverb

    To receive entertainment; to sojourn; to take shelter.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    This night let’s harbour here in York. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    They are sent by me,
    That they should harbour where their lord would be. William Shakespeare.

    Southwards they bent their flight,
    And harbour’d in a hollow rock at night:
    Next morn they rose, and set up every sail;
    The wind was fair, but blew a mackrel gale. Dryden.

    Let me be grateful; but let far from me
    Be fawning cringe, and false dissembling look,
    And servile flattery, that harbours oft
    In courts and gilded roofs. Phillips.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Harbour

    här′bur, n. any refuge or shelter: a port for ships—obs. form Har′borough.—v.t. to lodge or entertain: to protect: to possess or indulge, as thoughts.—v.i. to take shelter.—n. Har′bourage, place of shelter: entertainment.—n.pl. Har′bour-dues, charges for the use of a harbour.—n. Har′bourer, one who harbours or entertains.—adj. Har′bourless.—n. Har′bour-mas′ter, the public officer who has charge of a harbour.—Harbour of refuge, a harbour constructed to give shelter to ships on some exposed coast: any protection for one in distress. [M. E. herberwe—an assumed A.S. herebeorghere, army, beorg, protection; cf. Ger. herberge, Ice. herbergi.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. harbour

    A general name given to any safe sea-port. The qualities requisite in a good harbour are, that it should afford security from the effects of the wind and sea; that the bottom be entirely free from rocks and shallows, but good holding ground; that the opening be of sufficient extent to admit the entrance or departure of large ships without difficulty; that it should have convenience to receive the shipping of different nations, especially those which are laden with merchandises; and that it possess establishments for refitting vessels. To render a harbour complete, there ought to be good defences, a good lighthouse, and a number of mooring and warping buoys; and finally, that it have plenty of fuel, water, provisions, and other materials for sea use. Such a harbour, if used as a place of commercial transactions, is called a port.

  2. harbour

    An accumulated shoal or bank of sand, shingle, gravel, or other uliginous substances, thrown up by the sea to the mouth of a river or harbour, so as to endanger, and sometimes totally prevent, the navigation into it.--Bars of rivers are some shifting and some permanent. The position of the bar of any river may commonly be guessed by attending to the form of the shores at the embouchure. The shore on which the deposition of sediment is going on will be flat, whilst the opposite one is steep. It is along the side of the latter that the deepest channel of the river lies; and in the line of this channel, but without the points that form the mouth of the river, will be the bar. If both the shores are of the same nature, which seldom happens, the bar will lie opposite the middle of the channel. Rivers in general have what may be deemed a bar, in respect of the depth of the channel within, although it may not rise high enough to impede the navigation--for the increased deposition that takes place when the current slackens, through the want of declivity, and of shores to retain it, must necessarily form a bank. Bars of small rivers may be deepened by means of stockades to confine the river current, and prolong it beyond the natural points of the river's mouth. They operate to remove the place of deposition further out, and into deeper water. Bars, however, act as breakwaters in most instances, and consequently secure smooth water within them. The deposit in all curvilinear or serpentine rivers will always be found at the point opposite to the curve into which the ebb strikes and rebounds, deepening the hollow and depositing on the tongue. Therefore if it be deemed advisable to change the position of a bar, it may be in some cases aided by works projected on the last curve sea-ward. By such means a parallel canal may be forced which will admit vessels under the cover of the bar.--Bar, a boom formed of huge trees, or spars lashed together, moored transversely across a port, to prevent entrance or egress.--Bar, the short bits of bar-iron, about half a pound each, used as the medium of traffic on the Negro coast.--Bar-harbour, one which, from a bar at its entrance, cannot admit ships of great burden, or can only do so at high-water.--Capstan-bars, large thick bars put into the holes of the drumhead of the capstan, by which it is turned round, they working as horizontal radial levers.--Hatch-bars, flat iron bars to lock over the hatches for security from theft, &c.--Port-bar, a piece of wood or iron variously fitted to secure a gun-port when shut.--Bar-shallow, a term sometimes applied to a portion of a bar with less water on it than on other parts of the bar.--Bar-shot, two half balls joined together by a bar of iron, for cutting and destroying spars and rigging. When whole balls are thus fitted they are more properly double-headed shot.--To bar. To secure the lower-deck ports, as above.

Editors Contribution

  1. harbour

    An area of water by land.

    The local harbour is accessible and beautiful.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 27, 2016  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'harbour' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4729

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'harbour' in Nouns Frequency: #1847

How to pronounce harbour?

How to say harbour in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of harbour in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of harbour in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of harbour in a Sentence

  1. Olafur Eliasson:

    One of the main sources of inspiration was for me my childhood in Iceland where the harbour,... where I spent a lot of time as my father was a sailor, sometimes filled up with boats so you could cross the harbour by going from one deck to the next.

  2. Commissioner Vera Jourova:

    In the new Safe Harbour there will be a suspension clause, saying that under concrete conditions we are going to suspend (it).

  3. Tony Carfang:

    Money funds are the safe harbour, if that goes away you are cutting a lot of treasurers loose, a lot of money loose.

  4. Commerce Penny Pritzker:

    A solution is within hand. We had an agreement prior to the court case. I think with modest refinements that are being negotiated we could have an agreement shortly, the solution ... is Safe Harbour 2.0, which is totally doable.

  5. Tanguy Van Overstraeten:

    It could have an impact on the whole Safe Harbour system as a transfer solution.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for harbour

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    call in an official matter, such as to attend court
    • A. abash
    • B. summon
    • C. transpire
    • D. cleave

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