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Related to colporteur: Colporter


A peddler of devotional literature.

[French, alteration (influenced by col, neck, from the idea that peddlers carry their wares on trays suspended from straps around their necks) of Old French comporteur, from comporter, to conduct, peddle; see comport.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈkɒlˌpɔːtə; French kɔlpɔrtœr)
(Commerce) a hawker of books, esp bibles
[C18: from French, from colporter, probably from Old French comporter to carry (see comport); influenced through folk etymology by porter à col to carry on one's neck]
ˈcolˌportage n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkɒlˌpɔr tər, -ˌpoʊr-)

a person who travels to sell or publicize Bibles, religious tracts, etc.
[1790–1800; < French]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
As its donations grew in 1858 the Auxiliary Committee decided that it ought to follow the pattern used in the great cities of England and employ a colporteur to distribute copies of the Bible in Auckland.
(11) Colporteur as a variant term for an itinerant seller of cheap print is found much later in Scotland, used in documents mainly from the late nineteenth century onwards.
Calling upon Lewis, Kopf and Horstmann, Weber presented a new narrative by introducing the German neurologist Otfrid Foerster (1873-1941) as another colporteur of a mental disorder as yet unmentioned in academic discourse, but who was supposed to have had knowledge of Hitler's medical file (44) (p295).
L'enquete recense 585 itinerants consideres comme nomades, dont les metiers declares sont saltimbanque, vannier, chanteur ambulant, marchand forain, lutteur, colporteur, acrobate, ecuyer de cirque, graveur, boulanger, artiste d'agilite, marchand d'oiseaux, fabricant de corbeilles, marchand de chevaux, fabricant de cadres de coquillages...Quelques familles paraissent assez etoffees: les Patrac regroupent une trentaine de personnes; marchands de chevaux, ce sont des Gitans originaires des departements pyreneens et de la region de la Garonne.
Evangeliste protestant et colporteur hypocrite, il enjole les fideles et les clients potentiels en faisant miroiter des promesses miraculeuses de cures de toutes sortes : des remedes aux douleurs physiques, des richesses et le salut.
Aheong (Siu Phong, Seau Hung, Hsiao Hsiung) as colporteur to work among the Chinese in 1868.
As instruments of "public relations," colporteurs were to avoid "religious controversy" in their office and "should be silent on topics of political agitation." Their neutrality consisted merely of "advanc[ing] the reign of Christ in our world; interfering with none of those points in which the spiritual, devoted followers of Christ are unhappily sundered from each other." (162) The goal of each colporteur was to become an anonymous presence in the lives of those who "did not believe in religion." Each person they encountered was to become a node in the expanding network of evangelical power.
Dans l'usage de ces categorisations (categories d'autrui, categories spatiales) se dessinent en creux une hierarchie interne de prestige, qui signale les difficultes de chacun a se positionner et a se reconnaitre dans les categories identitaires fixes de l'immigre travailleur africain et du colporteur senegalais.
His most influential essay popularized the story of a famous itinerant--the frontier's "first colporteur," Johnny Appleseed.
Torro et Diallo beneficient de la complicite de certains militaires et arrivent a s'evader l'un habille en colporteur, l'autre en eleveur.
These agents and contraptions of circulation were endlessly featured in mission publicity material and functioned as prosthetic extensions of missionaries: as James Rennie, a Scottish colporteur commented, "I am the legs of John Bunyan ..." (Rennie nd:36).