A 16-inch Gladstone bag made of ox leather
Traditional medical bag

A portmanteau is a piece of luggage, usually made of leather and opening into two equal parts. Some are large, upright, and hinged at the back and enable hanging up clothes in one half,[1] while others are much smaller bags (such as Gladstone bags) with two equally sized compartments.[2]

The word derives from the French word portemanteau (from porter, "to carry", and manteau, "coat") which nowadays means a coat rack but was in the past also used to refer to a traveling case or bag for clothes.[3][4]


  1. ^ "Portmanteau definition and meaning - Collins English Dictionary". Collinsdictionary.com.
  2. ^ "A History of Vintage Luggage". Achome.co.uk. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  3. ^ Petit Robert: portemanteau - "malle penderie" (suitcase in which clothes hang)
  4. ^ "PORTEMANTEAU : Définition de PORTEMANTEAU". Cnrtl.fr.