ap·​por·​tion | \ ə-ˈpȯr-shən How to pronounce apportion (audio) \
apportioned; apportioning\ ə-​ˈpȯr-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce apportioning (audio) \

Definition of apportion

transitive verb

: to divide and share out according to a plan especially : to make a proportionate division or distribution of Representatives are apportioned among the states.

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Other Words from apportion

apportionable \ ə-​ˈpȯr-​shə-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce apportionable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of apportion in a Sentence

The proceeds from the auction will be apportioned among the descendents. Apportion the expenses between the parties involved. The agency apportions water from the lake to residents.
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Recent Examples on the Web Under the Constitution, each state appoints electors to cast the electoral ballots apportioned by the popular vote. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court will hear case that could decide future presidential elections," 17 Jan. 2020 Population data collected from the 2020 census could lead to dramatic changes in how congressional seats and Electoral College votes are apportioned in several states. Grace Segers, CBS News, "10 states set to lose congressional districts after 2020 census," 31 Dec. 2019 Most experts will agree that, with the exception of the income tax, which is authorized by the 16th Amendment, the Constitution prohibits federal direct taxes that are not apportioned by population. Veronique De Rugy, National Review, "Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth-Tax Trap," 26 Sep. 2019 Yet another standing problem for all of the antitrust claims, says WME — citing another of the five factors the Ninth Circuit enumerated — is the problem of identifying and apportioning damages among claimants. Jonathan Handel, The Hollywood Reporter, "Where the Writers Guild Stands in Its Legal War With Agencies," 30 Oct. 2019 Knesset seats are apportioned according to the total number of votes a party wins—often with some votes, short of the amount required for another seat, remaining. Bernard Avishai, The New Yorker, "The Israeli Election Is Next Week, and Unprecedented Alliances Are Moving Against Netanyahu," 10 Sep. 2019 All that remains is to apportion liability, which is within the courts' wheelhouse. Michael Hiltzik,, "Self-driving car deaths raise the question: Is society ready for us to take our hands off the wheel?," 3 Apr. 2018 Each person was apportioned a space 3-by-5 feet; at 10-by-12 feet, Locke’s monument was designed to accommodate two families of four, with a small jut where the auctioneer would have stood to hawk his human wares. Murray Whyte,, "Boston lost a powerful, poetic work when artist pulled his ‘Auction Block’ slave memorial," 17 Aug. 2019 Though black voters outnumbered white voters in the state at the time, the 1890 constitution apportioned the state legislature to guarantee a majority of seats would be held by white lawmakers. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Mississippi Quotes John Roberts to Defend Its Racist Election Law," 19 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apportion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of apportion

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for apportion

Middle French apportionner, from a- (from Latin ad-) + portionner to portion

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Time Traveler for apportion

Time Traveler

The first known use of apportion was in the 15th century

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Statistics for apportion

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Apportion.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for apportion


How to pronounce apportion (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of apportion

formal : to divide (something) among or between people : to give (a part of something) to a number of people


transitive verb
ap·​por·​tion | \ ə-ˈpȯr-shən How to pronounce apportion (audio) \

Legal Definition of apportion

: to make a usually proportionate division or distribution of (an amount due) according to a plan: as
a : to divide (an amount due in tax or other liability) among the parties responsible for respective shares of the payment — compare contribution
b : to assign (a portion of the consideration agreed to in a contract) as payment for the other party's partial performance
c : to distribute (corporate dividends) based on some proportion
d : to assign (legislative representatives and taxes) among the states as provided by law

Other Words from apportion

apportionable adjective
apportionment noun

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Comments on apportion

What made you want to look up apportion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


dull or mediocre

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