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

In the current method to apportion to the states the 435 seats in the U.S. House, every state receives at least one seat. Jeffrey W Ladewig, The Conversation, "Trump’s fight to count US citizens and non-citizens: 5 questions answered," 8 Aug. 2019 The census also is key to apportioning seats in Congress, providing data to map individual House districts, and to distributing billions of dollars in federal spending each year. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "House votes to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt," 17 July 2019 Every state apportions its legislative seats on the basis of total population, and prisoners aren’t the only group that can skew that figure. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "How Prisons Inflate Rural Voters’ Power," 2 Aug. 2019 The transitions between scenes were jagged, and information shockingly apportioned. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "The Disappointing, Emmy-Baiting Finale of “Big Little Lies” Season 2," 22 July 2019 Each cluster featured candidates who were polling at similar levels, and each cluster was apportioned an equal number of slots across the two nights. Los Angeles Times, "Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to square off at debate, and Kamala Harris and Joe Biden get a rematch," 18 July 2019 The rest of the funding was apportioned for public education campaigns and materials, other partnership grants, surveillance, administration and training. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana was a 'leader' in tobacco prevention. Now it's falling behind.," 15 July 2019 The judge also decided that once the liability of city bureaus for Portland Harbor became clear, the remediation expenses should be apportioned among them., "Portland faces lawsuit over sewer utility spending," 15 July 2019 As the nation grew exponentially in the next century, the census was in many ways a vital tool for ensuring that each state was apportioned fair representation. Jess Mchugh, Fortune, "The U.S. Census Has a Long History of Discrimination," 20 June 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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Statistics for apportion

Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for apportion

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

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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).


not constant or steady

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