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 portion (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 Crews initially shut down a portion of Calle Albara. City News Service, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Overflowing water tank causes damage to 8 homes in Rancho San Diego," 7 May 2021 Oakland was one of the first cities to pledge to reinvesting a sizable portion of the police budget last summer after George Floyd’s murder. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, "Mayor Schaaf's proposed Oakland budget boosts homelessness spending but doesn't cut police," 7 May 2021 The current solar tax credit allows companies to defray a portion of development costs. Kristin Broughton, WSJ, "Accounting Rules for Energy Tax Credits Divide Utilities, Solar Producers," 7 May 2021 Some companies are content to have at least a portion of their workforce operating at home permanently, with other personnel reporting to the office five days a week. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, ""Hybrid" return-to-office models could create subcaste of workers," 6 May 2021 Customers who buy with Redfin are only charged 1% to list their home, and also receive a portion of the brokerages commission back (called the Redfin Refund). Q.ai - Investing Reimagined, Forbes, "Redfin Among Today’s Best Short Plays As The Dow Trades Around Record High And The Nasdaq Continues Losing Streak," 6 May 2021 Surveyor Bill Emerson presented an appropriation of $396,898.52 to cover Lake County’s portion of Kankakee River projects, including tree removal and water storage, for fiscal year 2021 on behalf of the drainage board. Alexandra Kukulka, chicagotribune.com, "Lake County Council discusses political, environmental elements of new wetlands law; surveyor says bill was ‘rammed through’," 6 May 2021 The pilot will use a portion of the funds the county anticipated saving last year by sending progressively fewer youths to the troubled Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake juvenile prisons north of Wausau. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Everybody needs a shoulder to lean on': Credible messenger program connects mentors with at-risk youth," 5 May 2021 In an online fundraiser from Gordon’s family, the page says a portion of the money went toward the hefty reward, in addition to helping get his body back to Israel to be buried. Mckenna Oxenden, baltimoresun.com, "$30,000 reward offered for tips leading to arrest of person who killed Israeli man who was visiting Baltimore," 5 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Edibles containing lower doses of THC and CBD also allow consumers to safely portion themselves and select their level of high. Sydney Gore, Vogue, "The Future of Edibles Is Artisanal," 12 Apr. 2021 Every musician is a business, a startup with limited equity to portion out to labels, publishers and other stakeholders. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Here’s Why Taylor Swift Is Re-Releasing Her Old Albums," 25 Mar. 2021 To serve, portion some of the noodles into a bowl and spoon the peanut sauce over the noodles. Jessica Battilana, San Francisco Chronicle, "A recipe for a spicy bowl of dan dan noodles that wakes up the taste buds," 12 Feb. 2021 These days, Stewart said her family must carefully portion out sizes of spaghetti and rice and ground beef during mealtimes. Claire Thornton, USA TODAY, "Black, Latina and immigrant mothers are losing jobs as COVID-19 child care crisis grows," 28 Dec. 2020 Jurisdictions could use the exchange to more appropriately portion out vaccine where it's needed. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Trading COVID-19 vaccines. Regular deliveries. Tracking doses. What we know about Operation Warp Speed distribution process.," 9 Dec. 2020 Some hosts may prefer to portion out the meal in advance and reheat the plate as guests arrive (best done in a warm oven). Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "Is It Safe to Host Thanksgiving Dinner? How to Lower COVID-19 Risks, According to Experts," 2 Nov. 2020 Or plan your cooking wrap up just as guests arrive, taking the time to portion plates in the kitchen. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "Is It Safe to Host Thanksgiving Dinner? How to Lower COVID-19 Risks, According to Experts," 2 Nov. 2020 In one scenario, kids can portion the ingredients exactly as printed, giving them a tangible example of what different weights and measurements look like. Allison Robicelli, Washington Post, "Make cooking your kids’ curriculum," 13 Oct. 2020

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

Time Traveler for portion

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for portion

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Portion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/portion. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for portion



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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