ration

noun
ra·​tion | \ ˈra-shən How to pronounce ration (audio) , ˈrā- How to pronounce ration (audio) \

Definition of ration

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a food allowance for one day
b rations plural : food, provisions
2 : a share especially as determined by supply

ration

verb
rationed; rationing\ ˈra-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce ration (audio) , ˈrā-​ \

Definition of ration (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to supply with or put on rations
2a : to distribute as rations often used with out
b : to distribute equitably
c : to use sparingly

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Examples of ration in a Sentence

Noun The soldiers were given their rations for the day. The horse was fed its ration of oats. weekly sugar and butter rations Verb During the war, the government rationed gasoline. the region has had to ration water during times of drought
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The taste is odd, though: sort of wooden and dead, like a K-ration with an industrial aftertaste. Los Angeles Times, "The official Girl Scout cookie power rankings," 24 Feb. 2021 The Biden administration has taken the first step toward ending an emergency exception that allowed hospitals to ration and reuse N95 medical masks, the first line of defense between frontline workers and the deadly coronavirus. Star Tribune, "FDA: N95 masks, now plentiful, should no longer be reused," 23 Apr. 2021 The Biden administration has taken the first step toward ending an emergency exception that allowed hospitals to ration and reuse N95 medical masks, the first line of defense between frontline workers and the deadly coronavirus. BostonGlobe.com, "N95 masks, now plentiful, should no longer be reused, FDA says," 23 Apr. 2021 Euerle said that his range is also still experiencing ammunition shortages, prompting him to ration two boxes per customers. Aaron Smith, Forbes, "Gun Sales Finally Decelerate To Strongest February Ever, Based On FBI Background Check Data," 2 Mar. 2021 Christensen said hospitals that serve the Navajo Nation are not at the point of having to ration care. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Medical officials serving Navajo make urgent plea: Stay home," 3 Dec. 2020 Skyrocketing caseloads there are threatening to force hospitals to ration care and essentially decide who lives and who dies. Star Tribune, "US registering highest deaths yet from the coronavirus," 7 Jan. 2021 At the height of the surge in January, hospitals were caring for more than 1,500 people, inciting fear among medical professionals that they’d be forced to ration care and prioritize resources for patients with the highest chance of surviving. Marina Starleaf Riker, San Antonio Express-News, "'This virus has taken far too many lives': Officials report 22 more COVID-19 deaths," 11 Feb. 2021 This ancient forebear of the modern survival ration, pemmican was originally prepared by North American Indians as a traveling food and cold-weather snack. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "10 Uses for Animal Fat in the Wild," 20 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In cases where avoiding contamination is extremely important, researchers have to ration their pipette tips, or collaborate with colleagues in other labs to share supplies until the next shipment arrives. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Shortage of Plastic Pipette Tips Is Delaying Biology Research," 30 Apr. 2021 Vaccine supplies are now sufficient that every adult in every U.S. state is eligible to receive a shot, but three months ago officials had to ration them. Allysia Finley, WSJ, "Cuomo Finishes the Pandemic as He Started It, by Failing Seniors," 22 Apr. 2021 The 24-year-old who was recently diagnosed with four new chronic illnesses relies on an oxygen concentrator to help her breathe, but when the power went out Tuesday in San Marco, Texas, she was forced to ration her oxygen. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Texas snowstorm, power outages are 'matter of life and death' for people with chronic illnesses, disabilities," 19 Feb. 2021 As Covid-19 cases increase sharply in much of the world, a scarcity of oxygen is forcing hospitals to ration it for patients and is driving up the coronavirus pandemic’s death toll. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, "Oxygen Scarcity Swells Covid-19’s Death Toll," 25 Jan. 2021 Hospitals would ration medical care to the people most likely to benefit. Lauren Caruba, ExpressNews.com, "Hospitals full. Thousands infected with coronavirus each week. San Antonio pays the price for failing to flatten the curve.," 16 Jan. 2021 Leaders of Arizona's major hospitals disagreed with the governor's position, noting at a news conference Wednesday that the state is teetering on the brink of having to ration life-saving care. Lindsay Whitehurst, Star Tribune, "Calls to reopen classrooms grow as teachers get vaccinated," 13 Jan. 2021 As insulin prices have soared, some people with diabetes who rely on the medication to regulate levels of glucose in their blood and prevent life-threatening complications have been forced to turn to lower-quality products or to ration their supply. Jamie Munks, chicagotribune.com, "New year brings new laws, including insulin price limit, while minimum wage goes up another dollar," 30 Dec. 2020 Faced with this reality, the state is updating its planning guide for how hospitals would ration care if necessary. Amina Khan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Has California been too lax?," 22 Dec. 2020

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

Noun

circa 1711, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ration

Noun

French, from Latin ration-, ratio computation, reason

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Time Traveler for ration

Time Traveler

The first known use of ration was circa 1711

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Statistics for ration

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ration.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ration. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for ration

ration

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ration

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a particular amount of food that is given to one person or animal for one day
: food or supplies
: a particular amount of something (such as gasoline or food) that the government allows you to have when there is not enough of it

ration

verb

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

: to control the amount of (something, such as gasoline or food) that people are allowed to have especially when there is not enough of it

ration

noun
ra·​tion | \ ˈra-shən How to pronounce ration (audio) , ˈrā-shən \

Kids Definition of ration

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a food allowance for one day
2 rations plural : provision entry 1 sense 1
3 : the amount each person is allowed by an authority The government set a gas ration.

ration

verb
rationed; rationing

Kids Definition of ration (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to control the amount an individual can use The government rationed gas.
2 : to use sparingly Ration your water on the hike.

ration

noun
ra·​tion | \ ˈrash-ən How to pronounce ration (audio) , ˈrā-shən How to pronounce ration (audio) \

Medical Definition of ration

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a food allowance for one day
rationed; rationing\ ˈrash-​(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce ration (audio) , ˈrāsh-​ How to pronounce ration (audio) \

Medical Definition of ration (Entry 2 of 2)

: to supply with or put on rations

Comments on ration

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