Definition of colporteur in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkɒlˌpɔːtə/ /ˌkɒlpɔːˈtəː/


  • 1A person who sells books, newspapers, and similar literature.

    ‘The prefect's efforts in this affair were focused on the persecution of colporteurs, key figures in the marketing and distribution of antigovernment pamphlets and newspapers.’
    travelling salesman, door-to-door salesman
    1. 1.1Someone employed by a religious society to distribute bibles and other religious tracts.
      • ‘Throughout the 1890s, Korean colporteurs worked with missionaries to distribute texts throughout the country.’
      • ‘At one time it employed nearly 300 colporteurs, and virtually every parish in the country was visited by one of its men and his bag of books.’
      • ‘E. G. Wheeler and his wife were the first Baptist chapel car colporteurs.’


Late 18th century French, from the verb colporter, probably an alteration of comporter, from Latin comportare ‘carry with one’.



/ˈkɒlˌpɔːtə/ /ˌkɒlpɔːˈtəː/