por·​tion | \ ˈpȯr-shən How to pronounce portion (audio) \

Definition of portion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an individual's part or share of something: such as
a : a share received by gift or inheritance
b : dowry
c : enough food especially of one kind to serve one person at one meal
2 : an individual's lot, fate, or fortune : one's share of good and evil
3 : an often limited part of a whole


portioned; portioning\ ˈpȯr-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce portioning (audio) \

Definition of portion (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to divide into portions : distribute portioned out the food equally
2 : to allot a dowry to : dower

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Choose the Right Synonym for portion


part, portion, piece, member, division, section, segment, fragment mean something less than the whole. part is a general term appropriate when indefiniteness is required. they ran only part of the way portion implies an assigned or allotted part. cut the pie into six portions piece applies to a separate or detached part of a whole. a puzzle with 500 pieces member suggests one of the functional units composing a body. a structural member division applies to a large or diversified part. the manufacturing division of the company section applies to a relatively small or uniform part. the entertainment section of the newspaper segment applies to a part separated or marked out by or as if by natural lines of cleavage. the retired segment of the population fragment applies to a part produced by or as if by breaking off. only a fragment of the play still exists

fate, destiny, lot, portion, doom mean a predetermined state or end. fate implies an inevitable and usually an adverse outcome. the fate of the submarine is unknown destiny implies something foreordained and often suggests a great or noble course or end. the country's destiny to be a model of liberty to the world lot and portion imply a distribution by fate or destiny, lot suggesting blind chance it was her lot to die childless , portion implying the apportioning of good and evil. remorse was his daily portion doom distinctly implies a grim or calamitous fate. if the rebellion fails, his doom is certain

Examples of portion in a Sentence

Noun A portion of the donations will be given to the orphanage. Portions of land were used for farming. A considerable portion of the city was flooded. The restaurant gives large portions. She divided the pie into six equal portions. Verb The work was portioned to each member of the staff. portioned out the medical supplies equally
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Before the deadlock, the panel examined the photos again and spent hours listening to a playback of portions of testimony from Strolla and the woman. Marc Freeman, sun-sentinel.com, "Foot doctor convicted of voyeurism; mistrial on rape charges," 16 Sep. 2019 The couple had already added onto their home a few times to accommodate a good portion of his collection. Washington Post, "Collection of premier proverb scholar opens at UVM," 15 Sep. 2019 INJURY REPORT Falcons rookie Kaleb McGary missed a good portion of the game after being helped off the field with a left knee injury. oregonlive, "Atlanta Falcons outlast the Philadelphia Eagles: Recap, score, stats and more," 15 Sep. 2019 Finding a worthy replacement then saves a staggering amount of water, and relieves our cities of a portion of waste. Ronna Chao, Quartz, "I helped create a unique upcycling system—but it won’t solve fashion’s waste problem," 10 Sep. 2019 Biden devoted a good portion of his stump speech at both events to violence against women. Fox News, "Biden slams Trump, claims economy is 'teetering on a recession'," 7 Sep. 2019 Rande Gerber, Kaia's father, apparently opted out of the dress-up portion of the party. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Kaia Gerber's 18th Birthday Party Outfit Was a Nod to Her Mom Cindy Crawford," 7 Sep. 2019 The programs — allowed under a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling — are similar in Bushland and Fort Scott, with random testing of a relatively small portion of the student body several times a year. NBC News, "School districts double down on drug testing, targeting even middle schoolers," 4 Sep. 2019 The Gators will be one of the biggest and most powerful teams in the area this year, and Browne will be relied upon to provide a good portion of the offense. Mike Frainie, baltimoresun.com, "2019 Baltimore-area girls volleyball players to watch," 31 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Items, all portioned for 8 to 10 people, are $25 to $70. Leeanne Griffin, courant.com, "These Connecticut restaurants are serving Thanksgiving dinner so you don’t have to cook," 4 Nov. 2019 The system is more decentralized for middle and high schools, with school staff usually portioning food into plastic containers or onto paper plates at the individual cafeterias, Mergens said. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Going old school’: Anchorage school lunches are getting a makeover," 7 Oct. 2019 This allows for a superior browned outside to creamy middle ratio and means that the kugel is beautifully portioned for easy serving. Stacey Ballis, chicagotribune.com, "Break the fast for Yom Kippur with mini noodle kugels and everything bagel salad," 2 Oct. 2019 And while 12 courses may seem like an overwhelming undertaking for any imbiber, the Bazaar Flight provides small bites and is thoughtfully paced and portioned to evade jet lag the next day. By Danielle Bernabe, Fortune, "Around the World in 12 Cocktails," 28 Sep. 2019 The most recent owner was developer Mehrdad Moayedi, who portioned off parts of the parcel along on Walnut Hill Lane to develop luxury homes along the front end of the property. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "Dallas businessman with ties to SMU now owns Dallas house once listed at $135M," 8 Aug. 2019 Creative side dishes, portioned family-style, are ordered separately. Eric Velasco, al, "Try seafood like you’ve never had before at Automatic," 7 Aug. 2019 Available now, the first two kits feature Yucatan Fish Tacos and Grilled Belize Chicken Sandwich, both portioned for four and priced at $24.99. Phil Vettel, chicagotribune.com, "Stephanie Izard teams with Peapod to offer This Little Goat meal kits," 26 July 2019 These were excellent dishes to share – hearty and generously portioned. Anchorage Daily News, "Former ‘Top Chef’ contestant and James Beard-nominated chef takes over Muse restaurant. So: how’s the food?," 17 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'portion.' 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 portion


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for portion


Middle English porcioun, from Anglo-French, from Latin portion-, portio; akin to Latin part-, pars part

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Learn More about portion

Statistics for portion

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for portion

The first known use of portion was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for portion


How to pronounce portion (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of portion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a part of a larger amount, area, etc.
: a part of something that is shared with other people
: the amount of food that is served to a person at one time



English Language Learners Definition of portion (Entry 2 of 2)

: to divide (something) into parts and give those parts to people


por·​tion | \ ˈpōr-shən How to pronounce portion (audio) \

Kids Definition of portion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a part or share of a whole
2 : serving a large portion of pasta


portioned; portioning

Kids Definition of portion (Entry 2 of 2)

: to divide into parts : distribute Kimki portioned work for each one in the tribe …— Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins

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More from Merriam-Webster on portion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for portion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with portion

Spanish Central: Translation of portion

Nglish: Translation of portion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of portion for Arabic Speakers

Comments on portion

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


not being in agreement or harmony

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