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

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.

something that you say which means you must accept any help you are offered when you are in a difficult situation, although you may not want to do this I don't even like him very much, but I had to move out of my flat and he offered me a place to stay. Any port in a storm, as they say.
See also: any, port, storm

a port of call

a place where you stop for a short time, especially on a journey Our first port of call was the delightful town of Bruges.
See also: call, of, port

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

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