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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some hospitals have reached the point of not accepting new patients and are preparing to ration care. Meg Oliver, CBS News, 13 Oct. 2021 In the rare event a hospital has to ration care, Dr. Manchanda says doctors usually rely on formal crisis policies created at the state level with input from hospital associations, emergency preparedness experts, frontline physicians, and ethicists. Ashley Abramson, Health.com, 5 Oct. 2021 Alaska on Saturday activated emergency crisis protocols that allow 20 medical facilities to ration care if needed as the state recorded the nation’s worst COVID-19 diagnosis rates in recent days, straining the state’s limited health care system. Mark Thiessen, ajc, 3 Oct. 2021 And some facilities in Fresno County have been perilously close to having to ration healthcare because of limited resources and personnel. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, 22 Sep. 2021 While the government has been working for months to issue ration cards to poor families, Hezbollah has been well ahead. Arkansas Online, 4 Sep. 2021 Artifacts on display in the center include a replica of the small desk where Frank did most of her writing, a Nazi propaganda magazine and wartime food ration cards. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Aug. 2021 In exchange for the small houses, the refugees were required to relinquish ration cards that had qualified them for material assistance from the U.N. Relief and Works Association. Bernard Avishai, The New Yorker, 13 May 2021 Alaska on Saturday activated emergency crisis protocols that allow 20 medical facilities to ration care if needed as the state recorded the nation’s worst COVID-19 diagnosis rates in recent days, straining the state’s limited health care system. Mark Thiessen, ajc, 3 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In Alaska, where only half the population is fully vaccinated, hospitals are at capacity and doctors have had to ration intensive care. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 10 Oct. 2021 State governments in the country have had to ration Covid-19 vaccines doses and shut down free vaccination centres, while private centres, where Indians can pay to get the vaccine, have plenty of shots available. Manavi Kapur, Quartz, 2 Aug. 2021 Idaho began to ration health care early this month as hospital beds filled up with a deluge of Covid patients. Elliott Ramos, NBC News, 29 Sep. 2021 The announcement comes as the federal government has moved to ration the treatment amid the spread of new variants. Fox News, 28 Sep. 2021 Though all of the state’s hospitals can now ration health care resources as needed, some might not need to take that step. Rebecca Boone, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Sep. 2021 At Providence, one of only three hospitals in a city of about 300,000 residents, officials have developed and enacted procedures to ration medical care and treatments, including dialysis and specialized ventilatory support. Mark Thiessen, ajc, 15 Sep. 2021 The alarming increase has meant the hospital must ration its care. NBC News, 3 Aug. 2021 Then, his next business idea: A run-in with a British warship inspired him, in 1979, to resurrect the particular type of rum that the Royal Navy used to ration to their sailors. Jason O'bryan, Robb Report, 29 July 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About ration

Time Traveler for ration

Time Traveler

The first known use of ration was circa 1711

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near ration

ratiomotor

ration

rational

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ration

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ration.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ration. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

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

ration

transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on ration

Nglish: Translation of ration for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ration for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!