Definition of harbour verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    (especially US English harbor) verb
    BrE BrE//ˈhɑːbə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɑːrbər//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they harbour
    BrE BrE//ˈhɑːbə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɑːrbər//
    he / she / it harbours
    BrE BrE//ˈhɑːbəz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɑːrbərz//
    past simple harboured
    BrE BrE//ˈhɑːbəd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɑːrbərd//
    past participle harboured
    BrE BrE//ˈhɑːbəd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɑːrbərd//
    -ing form harbouring
    BrE BrE//ˈhɑːbərɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɑːrbərɪŋ//
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  1. 1harbour somebody to hide and protect somebody who is hiding from the police Police believe someone must be harbouring the killer.
  2. 2harbour something to keep feelings or thoughts, especially negative ones, in your mind for a long time The arsonist may harbour a grudge against the company. She began to harbour doubts about the decision. to harbour thoughts of revenge He still harbours ambitions of playing professional soccer. He still harboured doubts about her honesty.
  3. 3harbour something to contain something and allow it to develop Your dishcloth can harbour many germs. These woodlands once harboured a colony of red deer. The Fife coast harbours many insects which are rare elsewhere in Britain.
  4. Word Originlate Old English herebeorg ‘shelter, refuge’, herebeorgian ‘occupy shelter’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch herberge and German Herberge, also to French auberge ‘inn’; see also harbinger.

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