port

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at the high port

1. In the military, holding one's rifle in a ready position above the head to allow for a run or charge. Leaping out of the transport, guns held at the high port, we ran across enemy fire to a makeshift shelter.
2. Of an object, held in a position of readiness or immediate action. The students held their pens at the high port, waiting for the instructor to signal them to begin the exam.
3. At an upturned and conspicuous angle or position. I'm having such a bad hair day, it's been at the high port since I woke up.
4. Immediately; at a moment's notice; without hesitation. I like to keep a suitcase packed so I am always ready to travel at the high port.
See also: high, port

first port of call

The first place where one stops to visit, accomplish something, or begin a process. Taken from nautical terminology, referring to the first port that a seafaring vessel calls in to at the beginning of a voyage. The president's first port of call on his re-election campaign will be his hometown. If your passport is lost while traveling abroad, your first port of call should be your home country's consulate or embassy. Paris will be our first port of call on our trip through Europe.
See also: call, first, of, port

port of call

1. A port visited by a ship among others on a voyage. The sailors were thrilled to finally see a port of call after months at sea.
2. A short stop during a trip or journey. Harold's first port of call on his trip across Europe was Paris.
See also: call, of, port

any port in a storm

Any solution, however unappealing, is acceptable in times of trouble. This originated as a nautical phrase. I don't really like Meg, but I had to ask her for help because she was the only one still in the office last night when my computer crashed. Any port in a storm, I guess.
See also: any, port, storm

any port in a storm

Fig. when one is having serious trouble, one must accept any solution, whether one likes the solution or not. I don't want to live with my parents, but it's a case of any port in a storm. I can't find an apartment I can afford. He hates his job, but he can't get another. Any port in a storm, you know.
See also: any, port, storm

any port in a storm

Any solution to a difficult situation (is better than none), as in John's plan isn't ideal, but any port in a storm. This metaphor was first recorded in 1749.
See also: any, port, storm

a port in a storm

You can call a person, place, or organization where you can get help in a difficult situation a port in a storm. She regarded him more as a port in a storm than a partner to her. Real estate is often a port in a storm for investors. Note: You say any port in a storm when you are in a position where you have to accept help from anyone who will give it to you, even if it is from someone who you do not like or approve of. `She was a monster,' he says, `but sometimes it's a case of any port in a storm, you know what I mean?'
See also: port, storm

any port in a storm

in adverse circumstances any source of relief or escape is welcome.
Literally, this expression applies to a ship seeking shelter from rough weather; it has been in use as a proverb from at least the mid 18th century.
See also: any, port, storm

any port in a ˈstorm

(saying) when you are in trouble you will accept help, etc. that would be unacceptable otherwise: When he went to work there he had been unemployed for a year. It was a case of any port in a storm.
See also: any, port, storm

a ˌport of ˈcall

(informal) a place where you go or stop for a short time, especially when you are going to several places: Our first port of call this morning is the bank.
These two idioms refer to ports where ships stop for a short time during a voyage.
See also: call, of, port

any port in a storm

Assistance or refuge in a predicament especially an unpalatable one. The metaphor is of sailors happy for any place of safety whatsoever when dangerous weather comes up.
See also: any, port, storm