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porterage definition


This page has 5 definitions of porterage in English. Porterage is a noun. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



Etymology 1

From porter (person who carries luggage and related objects) +‎ -age (suffix forming nouns indicating an action, process, or result; a charge, fee, or toll; or a relationship or state).[1]


porterage (countable and uncountable, plural porterages)

  1. (uncountable) The carrying or transportation of goods by a porter (person who carries luggage and related objects) or other person.
    Synonym: portage
    • 1680, [Francis Kirkman], “An Account and Character of Such who Went with Me in Our Voyage to a Plantation, []”, in The English Rogue: Continued in the Life of Meriton Latroon, and Other Extravagants. [] The Fourth Part. [], London: [] Francis Kirkman, and are to be sold by William Rands [], OCLC 1203859165, page 150:
      [T]he Gallant was ready punctually at his hour with three or four Porters, by the help of whom he quickly removed all the choice Goods or any that were worth Porterage to a place appointed.
    • 1738, William Markham, “Part VII. Waterside Business, &c.”, in A General Introduction to Trade and Business. Or, The Young Merchant’s and Tradesman‘s Magazine. [], London: [] A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch [], and J[ames] Hodges [], OCLC 316701219, page 192:
      If Goods are to be brought Home to your ovvn Houſe, there are Charges for VVeighage, Cranage, Porterage, VVharfage, Cartage, Lighterage, &c. [] Porterage, is the paying the Porters at the VVaterſide, for loading, unloading, vveighing, craning, &c.
    • 1749, Solomon Lowe, “[Arithmetic Exemplified in a Copious but Select Collection of Questions and Answers; [].] Examples Promiscuously Disposd.”, in Arithmetic in Two Parts: [], London: [] James Hodges, [], OCLC 629685938, paragraph 131, page 107:
      Shipt, from Spain, 10 tuns of vvine, at 10 l [pounds] ſterling per hhd [hogshead]: payd, cuſtom at the port of London, 1 s [shilling] per gallon; the carriage, for lighterage, cartage, and porterage, amounted to 5 l.
    • 1853 December 31, “General News. Liverpool—High Level Line for the Docks.”, in The Railway Times, volume XVI, number 53 (number 835 overall), London: William Lurcott, OCLC 220607124, page 1361, column 1:
      When parties talk about the cost of applying the railway system to the docks, it would be well for them to consider the cost of not applying it. [] How large an amount of expense is now incurred for cartage and porterage which might be saved by the employment of a different system?
    • 1990, Jacob Milgrom, “The Second Levite Census”, in Nahum M[attathias] Sarna, editor, Numbers = במדבר [Ba-midbar]: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation (The JPS Torah Commentary), Philadelphia, Pa.; New York, N.Y.: Jewish Publication Society, →ISBN, page 25:
      The specific job of the Kohathites is the porterage of the most sacred objects (enumerated in vv. 5–15) by shoulder (4:15; 7:9).
  2. (uncountable) Porters regarded collectively.
  3. (uncountable, obsolete, rare) Goods or other things which are carried; burdens.
    • 1666, John Smith, “[Ecclesiastes 12.] Verse 5.”, in Γηροκομία Βασιλικὴ [Gerokomia Basilike]: King Solomons Portraiture of Old Age. Wherein is Contained a Sacred Anatomy both of Soul and Body. [], London: [] J. Hayes for S. Thomson, [], OCLC 7819595, pages 178–179:
      Novv, the parts in man that may be called the Porters, and vvhich bear the burdens that are carried, can be no other than the Scapula, and its Acromion, vvhich is the part upon vvhich the burden is pitched; and the back bone vvhich is the part that gives the greateſt ſtrength tovvards the bearing of it, both vvhich, vvhen age hath much enfeebled a man, become unſerviceable as unto thoſe ends, theſe Porters do novv become a porterage themſelves, and thoſe parts that vvere vvont to bear the greateſt burdens, are novv ſo great a burden themſelves, that the man ſtoops under them, and is ſcarce able to bear them.
  4. (countable, uncountable) The charge for such carrying or transportation.
    Synonym: portage
    • 1635, Richard Dafforne, “Here Followeth the Factor-book. Anno 1634. In Amsterdam.”, in The Merchants Mirrour: Or, Directions for the Perfect Ordering and Keeping of His Accounts; [], London: [] R. Young, for Nicolas Bourne, [], OCLC 278531943, folio 1, recto:
      Boatage, and Porterage to the VVare-houſe
    • 1787 June, Tench Coxe, “An Enquiry into the Principles, on which a Commercial System for the United States of America should be Founded; []”, in The American Museum, or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces, &c. Prose and Poetical, volume I, number VI, 2nd edition, Philadelphia, Pa.: [] Mathew Carey, published 1788, OCLC 1026702661, page 437, column 2:
      The neareſt rivals of our manufacturers, are thoſe of Europe, vvho are ſubjected to the follovving charges in bringing their goods into our market: [] porterages, freight, insurance, damage, intereſt of money, vvaſte, and loſs on exchange.
    • 1872, John Ruskin, “Letter XIX”, in Fors Clavigera. Letters to the Workmen and Labourers of Great Britain, volume II, Orpington, Kent: George Allen, OCLC 3852549, pages 1–2:
      Fancy, then, the packing, and peeping into the packages, and porterages, and percentages on porterages; and the engineering, and the tunnelling, and the bridge-building, and the steam whistling, and the grinding of iron, and the raising of dust in the Limousin ([Jean-François] Marmontel's country), and in Burgundy, and in Savoy, and under the Mont Cenis, and in Piedmont, and in Lombardy, and at last over the field of Solferino, to fetch me my bottle of diaphanous mustard!
    • 1961 April, G. Freeman Allen, “The ‘Rheingold’ Goes via Cologne”, in Trains Illustrated, London: Ian Allan Publishing, ISSN 0141-9935, OCLC 35845948, page 240:
      Further information on the reverse of the list of connections advised us that the labels tied to our baggage entitled us to free porterage at Basle SBB station (normally this is charged at a regulation scale); []
Coordinate terms
Related terms

Etymology 2

From porter (person in control of the entrance to a building) +‎ -age (suffix forming nouns indicating a relationship or state).[2]


porterage (uncountable)

  1. The occupation of, or services provided by, a porter (person in control of the entrance to a building).
    • 1764, C[harles] Churchill, “Book II”, in The Duellist. A Poem. [], London: [] G. Kearsly, []; W. Flexney, []; J. Coote, []; C. Henderson, []; J. Gardiner, []; and J. Almon, [], OCLC 243703424, pages 20–21:
      In rules of Porterage untaught, / Simplicity, not vvorth a groat, / For years had kept the Temple door; / Full on his breaſt a glaſs he vvore, / Thro' vvhich his boſom open lay / To ev'ry one vvho paſs'd that vvay.
    • 1994, Peter Ambrose, “The Impact of ‘Neo-liberal’ Policies on the Built Environment”, in Urban Process and Power, London; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, →ISBN, part III (Power – New Ideologies and Their Effects), plate 9.2 caption, page 179:
      There is an underground parking space for each flat, a 24-hour porterage service and careful security arrangements.
    • 1997 October 1, P[hyllis] D[orothy] James, chapter 20, in A Certain Justice, London: Faber and Faber, →ISBN, page 181:
      A good-sized drawing-room and dining-room and two double bedrooms – you won't need more. Twenty-four-hour porterage and a modern security system.
    • 2013, “The Demand for & Marketability of Individual Properties”, in The Housing Market: A Survey (ISR Economic Growth & Performance Studies), Manchester: Industrial Systems Research, published 2019, →ISBN, page 120:
      There is a strong demand for studio or one- and two-bedroom apartments with private underground parking and twenty-four hour porterage by young single professionals and executives and working couples with minimal domestic lifestyles.
Related terms


  1. ^ porterage, n.1”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “porterage, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  2. ^ porterage, n.2”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022.

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