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As a noun, a haven, or a space of deep water so sheltered by the adjacent land and surroundings as to afford a safe anchorage for ships.

As a verb, to afford lodging to, to shelter, or to give a refuge to. To clandestinely shelter, succor, and protect improperly admitted Aliens. It may be aptly used to describe the furnishing of shelter, lodging, or food clandestinely or with concealment, and under certain circumstances may be equally applicable to those acts divested of any accompanying secrecy. Harboring a criminal is a crime under both federal and state statutes and a person who harbors a criminal is an Accessory after the fact.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

HARBOR. A place where ships may ride with safety; any navigable water protected by the surrounding country; a haven. (q.v.) It is public property. 1. Bouv. Inst. n. 435.

TO HARBOR, torts. To receive clandestinely or without lawful authority a person for the purpose of so concealing him that another having a right to the lawful custody of such person, shall be deprived of the same; for example, the harboring of a wife or an apprentice, in order to deprive the husband or the master of them; or in a less technical sense, it is the reception of persons improperly. 10 N. H. Rep. 247; 4 Scam. 498.
     2. The harboring of such persons will subject the harborer to an, action for the injury; but in order to put him completely in the wrong, a demand should be made for their restoration, for in cases where the harborer has not committed any other wrong than merely receiving the plaintiff's wife, child, or apprentice, he may be under no obligation to return them without a demand. 1 Chit. Pr. 564; Dane's Ab. Index, h.t.; 2 N. Car. Law Repos. 249; 5 How. U. S. Rep. 215, 227.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Police are able to pursue charges against harborers when evidence exists that a minor has been abused or when the minor admits to abuse, but many juveniles won't admit that they're having sex or performing illegal acts with the adults they're staying with.
[t]he war on terror will not be won on the defensive." (307) The United States has therefore claimed a right of self-defense that may be asserted against state harborers and state sponsors of terrorism.
Yet ironically, the highly educated seem to be among the chief harborers of religious intolerance today: they simply cannot stand Christian fundamentalism.
Both germs and Communists were insidious presences you had to take great pains to keep at bay, and both had secret and shameful associations with my parents, former socialists turned liberal Democrats in John Birch country and so by implication potential slobs, latent harborers of disease-bearing dust and grease and ambiguous odors.
Before he lost heart for the practice of law and went on to serve six terms as judge in our small town--a post that called for warning harborers of goats within town boundaries, fining hotrodders who careened through flocks of hens on the county roads, and chiding those citizens of Pawnee Wells (everyone in town)who coasted through our four-way stop--my father was a reckless driver.