Definition of Port-Royal in English:


Pronunciation /ˌpɔː rwɑːˈjal/ /ˌpɔː rɔɪˈjal/


  • The community of Port-Royal as a centre of Jansenism; (hence) the doctrines of the Jansenists. Also: the wider community following the principles and methods of Port-Royal in education or philosophy; a comparable institution elsewhere.

    Frequently used attributively and allusively with reference to the teachings in logic and semantics promulgated by the Port-Royal community, especially as set out in A. Arnauld and P. Nicole's influential La Logique; ou, L'Art de Penser (1662).


Mid 17th century. From Port-Royal, the name of a convent near Versailles, which, in the 17th century, housed a lay community which became well-known for its strong Jansenist leanings and its work in education and philosophy.