port·​fo·​lio | \ pȯrt-ˈfō-lē-ˌō How to pronounce portfolio (audio) \
plural portfolios

Definition of portfolio

1 : a hinged cover or flexible case for carrying loose papers, pictures, or pamphlets
2 [from the use of such a case to carry documents of state] : the office and functions of a minister of state or member of a cabinet
3 : the securities held by an investor : the commercial paper held by a financial house (such as a bank)
4 : a set of pictures (such as drawings or photographs) usually bound in book form or loose in a folder
5 : a selection of a student's work (such as papers and tests) compiled over a period of time and used for assessing performance or progress

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Portfolio is partly based on the Latin folium, meaning "leaf, sheet". A portfolio usually represents a portable showcase of your talents. Today actual portfolios are used less than they used to be by artists, since most commercial artists have a Web site dedicated to showing off their art. But portfolio in its other common meaning is extremely common. Not so long ago, a broker would keep each of his or her clients' investments in a separate notebook or portfolio. Today the investment portfolio, like an artist's portfolio, usually takes the form of a Web page, even though everyone still uses the same old word.

Examples of portfolio in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The answers to these questions are unfortunately not what portfolio company HR teams have the bandwidth to substantively address. Joseph Zito, Forbes, "Showtime's 'Billions' Teases A New Model For Private Equity To Create Alpha," 9 Apr. 2021 Secretary Yellen has the advantage of being well-known and highly regarded by her peers on the global economic stage, and her words carry weight, noted Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments. NBC News, "Yellen pushes for global minimum tax rate to create 'more level playing field'," 5 Apr. 2021 The allegations by David Nielsen, a former portfolio manager with Ensign Peak Advisors, revealed the investment arm of the church held one the biggest investment funds in the U.S. at the time. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Update: James Huntsman sues LDS Church, seeks to recover millions in tithing," 23 Mar. 2021 The Bay View house was purchased by Shane Zweck, a 36-year-old associate portfolio manager for the Special Global Equity team at Wells Fargo Asset Management. Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Ald. Tony Zielinski sells his Bay View mansion, dubbed the 'Milwaukee Monstrosity,' for $1.6 million," 22 Mar. 2021 The lead portfolio manager of the new fund will be Brent Miller, a Minnesota native who is also president of the Minnesota Society of Municipal Analysts. Patrick Kennedy, Star Tribune, "Mairs & Power launches an ETF tied to the bonds of Minnesota's towns," 11 Mar. 2021 The real turning point goes back to Nov. 9, said David Readerman, a hedge fund portfolio manager. Steve Lohr, New York Times, "Companies That Rode Pandemic Boom Get a Reality Check," 11 Mar. 2021 European portfolio managers are even more bullish than strategists on the region’s stocks, with 9.5% upside seen in European equities by the end of the year on average. Michael Msika, Fortune, "Wall Street is predicting a ‘roaring twenties’ rally for these laggard stocks," 18 Feb. 2021 But with a Covid-19 vaccine now circulating, business will bounce back in 2021, says Janet Johnston, a portfolio manager at Trim Tabs Asset Management. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "Disney, AutoZone and PayPal are among 21 stocks you should consider buying in 2021, stock experts say," 5 Jan. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of portfolio

1713, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for portfolio

Italian portafoglio, from portare to carry (from Latin) + foglio leaf, sheet, from Latin folium — more at blade

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about portfolio

Time Traveler for portfolio

Time Traveler

The first known use of portfolio was in 1713

See more words from the same year

Statistics for portfolio

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Portfolio.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/portfolio. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for portfolio



English Language Learners Definition of portfolio

: a flat case for carrying documents or drawings
: a set of drawings, paintings, or photographs that are presented together in a folder
finance : the investments that are owned by a person or organization


port·​fo·​lio | \ pȯrt-ˈfō-lē-ˌō How to pronounce portfolio (audio) \
plural portfolios

Kids Definition of portfolio

1 : a flat case for carrying papers or drawings
2 : a collection of art (as paintings) presented together in a folder


port·​fo·​lio | \ pōrt-ˈfō-lē-ō How to pronounce portfolio (audio) \

Legal Definition of portfolio

: the securities held by an investor : the commercial paper held by a financial institution (as a bank)

More from Merriam-Webster on portfolio

Nglish: Translation of portfolio for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of portfolio for Arabic Speakers

Comments on portfolio

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


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!