Definition of colporteur in English:


See synonyms for colporteur on


  • 1A peddler of 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.’



/ˈkälpôrdər/ /ˈkɑlpɔrdər/ /ˌkälpôrˈtər/ /ˌkɑlpɔrˈtər/


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