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 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.
Origin and Etymology of portfolio
Italian portafoglio, from portare to carry (from Latin) + foglio leaf, sheet, from Latin folium — more at blade
First Known Use: 1713
PORTFOLIO Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of portfolio for English Language Learners
: 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
PORTFOLIO Defined for Kids
Definition of portfolio for Students
1 : a flat case for carrying papers or drawings
2 : a collection of art (as paintings) presented together in a folder
Legal Definition of portfolio
: the securities held by an investor : the commercial paper held by a financial institution (as a bank)
Seen and Heard
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