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 The prediction portion of the AI driving system is likely to calculate that the child is on a dire course toward the street and a potential intersecting path of the self-driving car. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021 The descent portion of the flight is actually often slower than the climb. John Cox, USA TODAY, 7 Oct. 2021 The northern part of Sebastian County, which includes the state's third-largest city of Fort Smith, would go in the 3rd Congressional District, while the southern portion would be in the 4th District. Jeannie Roberts, Arkansas Online, 6 Oct. 2021 If passed, the current bill would spend $3.5 trillion total over 10 years, a relatively small portion of which is devoted to adapting to and mitigating climate change. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 5 Oct. 2021 But a bigger portion of that is in the development that can happen once a player finally settles in. Stephen Means, cleveland, 4 Oct. 2021 The judges who initially ruled on the lawsuit split it into two separate issues, and the portion that the Supreme Court opined on was specifically about the District’s right to representation in the House of Representatives. Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2021 While federal funds cover a substantial part of the budget, the state’s portion of the money is why lawmakers believe Utah may have some wiggle room. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Oct. 2021 The organization Trust Women told the court that call volume for appointments at its clinics in Kansas and Oklahoma had doubled, and a significant portion of those patients were from Texas. Rachel Janfaza, CNN, 1 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sometimes that’s the best, or only way, to portion out a large slab pie or pizza. Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2021 Use a spoon to portion some half-moons of perfectly ripe avocado on top. Shilpa Uskokovic, Bon Appétit, 8 Sep. 2021 Workers portion them out precisely, measuring the stiff salmon into boxes, then boating them to other communities in the region. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Sep. 2021 If your gluttonous best friend plows through food too fast, a slow-feed option can portion out the meal over 15 minutes. Sal Vaglica, WSJ, 21 July 2021 At the table, portion out soufflé into individual bowls. Odette Williams, WSJ, 18 June 2021 Mix up a batch of brownie batter, portion it into a muffin tin, and bake as directed. Zoe Denenberg, Southern Living, 21 May 2021 Edibles containing lower doses of THC and CBD also allow consumers to safely portion themselves and select their level of high. Sydney Gore, Vogue, 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, 25 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for portion

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Portion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/portion. Accessed 23 Oct. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on portion

Nglish: Translation of portion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of portion for Arabic Speakers


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