Also found in: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to portative: Portative organ


1. Portable.
2. Capable of or used in carrying.

[Middle English portatif, from Old French, from Latin portāre, to carry; see per- in Indo-European roots.]


1. a less common word for portable
2. concerned with the act of carrying
[C14: from French, from Latin portāre to carry]


(ˈpɔr tə tɪv, ˈpoʊr-)

References in periodicals archive ?
But then just as quickly the eye is drawn downward, directed by the upside-down portative organ slipping from Cecilia's hand toward the ground that is already cluttered with abandoned musical instruments: a viola da gamba with missing strings and its bow lying across the da gamba's broken belly; three recorders; two tambourines; two small drums--one with its skin pierced--and their drumsticks; a triangle and a pair of cymbals.
The Benet-Mercie Model 1909, while named for two designers, was basically the Hotchkiss Portative machine gun chambered for the US .
On the floor behind the Virgin is a portative organ--a twelfth-century invention--that, like other aspects of the painting, most obviously the Gothic screen in combination with the red cloth draped over it and the trellis-work cross that centrally surmounts it, alludes to the High Church movement's revival of choral music, altar decorations, and other aspects of Catholic (pre-Reformation, medieval) worship.
tournant comme une helice avec cinquante kilos de materiel de prises de vue sous le bras ou sur le dos, entre archives municipales, musees, grands ou petits, collections particulieres, cabinets d'estampes ou libraires anciens" (Petite Morale portative, 46).
They will play the large Hochhalter organ and the Petty portative organ.
We see and hear reconstructions of the earliest portative organs, travel across Europe and the United States to find the oldest largest, and strangest organs, explore the world of harmoniums, Wurlitzers, and Hammond organs, and conclude with the question of whether the organ will be superseded by its electronic equivalents.
Anyway, it can be used together with the analytical data in mechanical testing, in order to reveal the portative loading capacity.
L'impact de la camera portative se fait sentir avec des emissions comme America's Funniest Videos (a l'origine, un concept japonais) ou When Animals Attack (au depart, un concept britannique).
An accordion plays like a portative organ continuo, hocket-ing wind instruments evoke period vocalisations, and contrasts of effect bring continual surprises.
Queneau's use of scientific language in Petite cosmogonie portative anthropomorphized science and inspired Calvino to consider science as the field to restore the relationship between human beings and cosmos.
Figure with portative organ (after Morris): design for a the panel, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, no.
The most common English rendering of the Hebrew kinnor (an instrument something like a lyre) (34) is "harps," but confusion persists due to the Vulgate's use of organa, a generic term for "instruments" that has even been rendered occasionally as the English "organ" -- a rather cumbersome thing to hang on a tree, even in the medieval portative form.