quota

noun quo·ta \ ˈkwō-tə \
Updated on: 13 Oct 2017

Definition of quota

1 :a proportional part or share; especially :the share or proportion assigned to each in a division or to each member of a body
2 :the number or amount constituting a proportional share
3 :a fixed number or percentage of minority group members or women needed to meet the requirements of affirmative action

Examples of quota in a Sentence

  1. The agency imposes strict fishing quotas.

  2. The company has imposed quotas on hiring.

  3. He lost his driver's license because he exceeded the quota of traffic violations.

  4. The department set new sales quotas in January.

Recent Examples of quota from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quota.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of quota

Medieval Latin, from Latin quota pars how great a part


Financial Definition of QUOTA

quota

What It Is

Quota can refer to a measure that sets the limits, either minimum or maximum, on a particular activity.

How It Works

Quotas are usually set by government or by an organization of producers of a particular product.

For trade quotas, governments set the quota limiting the import of a particular product, restricting the access to the domestic market by an offshore producer, and giving the domestic producers the opportunity to improve their position in the market.  Such protectionist policies in industries including steel, autos, and many consumer electronics products, have protected domestic industry from international competition.

In production quotas, a government or a group of producers, limit the supply of a particular product in order to maintain a certain price level.  For example, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries sets a production quota for crude oil in order to "maintain" the price of crude oil in world markets.

Why It Matters

Quotas counteract natural market forces and trends and usually upset normal business cycles. For example, protecting domestic industry from international competition has kept it alive, but has not increased its competitiveness. In an increasingly global economic marketplace, quotas tend to weaken domestic industry. As for production quotas, while maintaining prices in the world markets may sound like a good idea for producers, it can have the effect of forcing consumers to find alternative products (e.g., the search for alternative energy in the case of oil) or worse (e.g., take up arms to fight for rights to natural resources).


QUOTA Defined for English Language Learners

quota

noun

Definition of quota for English Language Learners

  • : an official limit on the number or amount of people or things that are allowed

  • : a specific amount or number that is expected to be achieved


QUOTA Defined for Kids

quota

noun quo·ta \ ˈkwō-tə \

Definition of quota for Students

1 :a limit on the number or amount of people or things that are allowed
  • a quota on imported goods
2 :a share assigned to each member of a group
  • Each colony received its quota of troops.
3 :a specific amount or number of things that is expected to be achieved
  • She sold her quota of candy bars.

Law Dictionary

quota

noun quo·ta \ ˈkwō-tə \

legal Definition of quota

1 :a proportional part or share assigned to each in a body
2 :a specific amount that serves as a minimum or maximum
  • a law against traffic ticket quotas

Origin and Etymology of quota

Medieval Latin, from Latin quota pars how great a part



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