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

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 website 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 Fed officials are poised to raise their benchmark rate by a half percentage point and approve plans to start shrinking their $9 trillion asset portfolio. WSJ, 4 May 2022 Understanding your risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity needs and overall financial goals is critical to determining if royalties are the right fit for your portfolio. Elan Jacoby, Rolling Stone, 2 May 2022 Investors near retirement, who will need to take distributions sooner than younger workers, should be especially cautious of adding volatility to their portfolio. Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 1 May 2022 His winning portfolio from last year satirizes such hot-button issues as abuse at the U.S.-Mexican border, the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt, school book bans and farmworkers’ rights. Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2022 Persol revived another ‘60s classic from its portfolio last year, known as the PO3260 silhouette. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 26 Apr. 2022 But Angel City offered a chance to do something positive for the community and for her portfolio at the same time. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2022 Wrapports, a Chicago investor group led by Michael Ferro that acquired the Sun-Times in late 2011, added the Reader to its portfolio in May 2012 for about $2.5 million. Robert Channick, chicagotribune.com, 21 Apr. 2022 For the past two years, Sabir has worked to expand their investment portfolio to funnel funds and opportunities to small businesses that probably would’ve been overlooked otherwise. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 18 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Time Traveler for portfolio

Time Traveler

The first known use of portfolio was in 1713

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Dictionary Entries Near portfolio



portfolio investment

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Statistics for portfolio

Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Portfolio.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/portfolio. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for portfolio


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


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