port·​fo·​lio | \ pȯrt-ˈfō-lē-ˌō \
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

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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

Speaking of product: The store will also include Delvaux’s first dedicated men’s space (mostly sleek briefcases, portfolios, and travel bags), and Loubier reported the label will introduce New York–specific bags and accessories. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Delvaux Just Opened Its First U.S. Flagship on One of the Most Iconic Corners in New York," 14 Jan. 2019 My 11-year-old recently accompanied me on a portrait photo shoot, and many of her shots not only made it into the final portfolio, some of hers were the finest captures from the day. Jeff Bogle, Good Housekeeping, "14 Reasons Parenting Teenagers Is Better Than You Think It Will Be," 10 Jan. 2019 After all, Toybina's portfolio also includes work for Fifth Harmony, Vanessa Hudgens, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, P!nk, and Shania Twain, among others. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "'Masked Singer' Fans Have a Theory That Carrie Underwood Is on the Show," 6 Jan. 2019 Jay-Z recently topped this year’s list with $900 million as a result of a diversified portfolio that includes Roc Nation, Tidal and a cognac division. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Stax Legend Al Bell on Black Music's Living Legacy and Power: 'My Life's Mission Is to Make Sure It Doesn't Die'," 6 July 2018 On average, jobless claims have to be rising for more than a year before signaling that a recession is on the horizon, said Steven Chiavarone, a portfolio manager at Federated Investors. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Stocks Start Off 2019 With a Bang," 27 Jan. 2019 Loxo Oncology shares surged 66% after drugmaker Eli Lilly said was buying Loxo Oncology, adding to its cancer-treatment portfolio. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Stocks Close Higher as U.S.-China Trade Talks Begin," 7 Jan. 2019 In fact, Janet is Bella’s godmother, according to her modeling portfolio. Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Is Bella Harris? What We Know About the 18-Year-Old Model Reportedly Dating Drake," 14 Sep. 2018 By adding Embraer's E-Jet family to its portfolio, Boeing will expand its manufacturing base abroad while extending its reach into the market for 100-seat planes. Julie Johnsson And Fabiola Moura, chicagotribune.com, "Boeing's $4.75 billion Embraer deal leaves long to-do list," 6 July 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for portfolio

Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for portfolio

The first known use of portfolio was in 1713

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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 \
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 \

Legal Definition of portfolio

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on portfolio

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with portfolio

Spanish Central: Translation of portfolio

Nglish: Translation of portfolio for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of portfolio for Arabic Speakers

Comments on portfolio

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to express emotion in a dramatic way

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