Definition of quota in English:



  • 1A limited or fixed number or amount of people or things, in particular.

    allocation, share, allowance, limit, ration, portion, apportionment, assignment, dispensation, slice, slice of the cake
    percentage, commission, measure, proportion, part, piece, fraction, division, subdivision, bit, amount, number, range, quantity
    cut, whack, rake-off
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A limited quantity of a particular product which under official controls can be produced, exported, or imported.
      ‘the country may be exceeding its OPEC quota of 1,100,000 barrels of oil per day’
      • ‘The report said the abolition of import quotas on Chinese textiles and apparel in key markets in 2005 will make China a formidable competitor.’
      • ‘Thousands of officials found employment in allocating and policing quotas in importing and exporting countries.’
      • ‘The US is considering imposing tariffs or quotas on steel imports to protect its troubled steel industry.’
      • ‘Under the curb, effective for 200 days, higher tariffs will be imposed if imports exceed quotas allocated to importers.’
      • ‘An import quota directly reduces the quantity of a product that is imported and indirectly reduces the amount of money that the export producers receive.’
      • ‘Countries were each assigned a fixed quota of textiles that could be exported to markets such as the US and Europe.’
      • ‘The lifting of the import ban and the elimination of import quotas and licenses will seriously affect refined products and synthetic fibers.’
      • ‘But sugar is less expensive in that country than in the United States, where critics contend import quotas artificially raise sugar prices.’
      • ‘As tariffs fell, the focus shifted to eliminating import quotas, which distort market behavior and the allocation of resources.’
      • ‘The government will also abolish import permissions and export quotas.’
      • ‘He said higher export quotas guaranteed a secure market for the local sugar industry and were a basis for growth, which led to employment creation.’
      • ‘The main methods are tariffs and quotas to limit imports, plus production subsidies and export subsidies to sustain farm activity and disperse the output.’
      • ‘The economic role of the state was to be reduced through privatization, welcoming foreign investments, eliminating import quotas, and reducing tariffs.’
      • ‘It might seem as though a quota that limited imports to 50 percent of their pre-quota level would accomplish the same thing.’
      • ‘Between now and 2005, tariffs will be slashed on a wide variety of products, and all import quotas will be abolished.’
      • ‘Labour-intensive export industries such as clothing and textiles, which have been limited by export quotas, will absorb most of the new jobs.’
      • ‘Protective safeguards, such as import and export controls, quotas, subsidies etc, will need to be introduced over a clearly agreed transition period to all continents.’
      • ‘Both the EU and the French government will come under pressure to fork over handouts to struggling vintners and to push for quotas on New World imports.’
      • ‘The increase meant the producers exceeded their official quotas by 8.7 percent, according to the report.’
      • ‘The idea that quotas on China's imports will spark a revival in US undergarment manufacturing is misplaced.’
      • ‘Tariffs and import quotas were, in the 1950s, still the principal barriers to trade.’
    2. 1.2A fixed share of something that a person or group is entitled to receive or is bound to contribute.
      ‘they were arrested to help fill the quota of arrests the security police had to make during the crackdown’
      • ‘Then there was the Party itself to be purged, and spies and saboteurs to be rooted out by sending arrest quotas to every region.’
      • ‘Many people complain that local police and judges are given arrest quotas.’
      • ‘Smaller companies without political pull will be liquidated if they don't fill the quota; larger companies will be left alone.’
      • ‘He was so adept at his job that he could slice his quota of animals in a fraction of the time it took other offal dressers.’
      • ‘The chief of the prefecture-wide drug squad was also in danger of missing government quotas for arrests.’
      • ‘The Marine Corps, which reached its recruitment goal last year after missing a few monthly quotas, struggled to fill several positions.’
      • ‘‘The police [apparently] had a quota to fill,’ Choi said of her arrest.’
      • ‘The government imposed arrest quotas on local authorities and threatened to sack provincial governors who failed to meet them.’
      • ‘The police have to fill a daily quota of arrests, so they seize people at random.’
      • ‘One former employee of the New Voter Project has told me that many staffers simply took names out of the telephone book to fill out their daily quotas.’
      • ‘As early as next year, the Canadian share of the quota could be officially divvied up for the first time.’
      • ‘With demand for housing continuing, it was realised that more homes were needed in order to fill Government quotas.’
      • ‘All the electorates have to do is fill their quota.’
      • ‘Last year, more than 50 universities missed their recruitment targets and 9,500 places were left empty so they will do anything to fill the quotas.’
      • ‘When the Germans attacked, there should have been enough of these guns for every division to receive its quota, but many of them were so recently out of the factories that they had not yet all been distributed to the armies.’
      portion, part, division, bit, allowance, ration, allocation, allotment, lot, measure, due
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3A fixed minimum or maximum number of a particular group of people allowed to do something, e.g. immigrants to enter a country, workers to undertake a job, or students to enrol for a course.
      ‘the removal of entry quotas encouraged young people to enter universities’
      • ‘Largely foreigners, these newcomers flooded in after the U.S. relaxed its immigration quotas in 1965.’
      • ‘Combined, these groups report on every aspect of public policy; from changes to the minimum wage to immigration quotas to health care reform.’
      • ‘So they actually ended up stowed away on a cargo plane - they weren't allowed on because they didn't make the quota for immigration.’
      • ‘These repatriates could only return to the United States as one of the annual quota of 50 immigrants.’
      • ‘Women's groups yesterday act out a skit outside the Ministry of National Defense to call for military academies to increase their enrollment quotas for female students.’
      • ‘The 2003 Electoral Law allows a quota of 30 percent for women representatives in the legislative body.’
      • ‘Because tribalism creeps in through the way we make appointments to public offices, offer scholarships to students, grant quotas, concessions and contracts to individuals.’
      • ‘While we can say that 733 is a number that equates roughly to our total refugee quota today, it is not a large number.’
      • ‘To raise the enrollment quota of aboriginal students, the new system will add 20 percent instead.’
      • ‘One concession to women in politics was a bill endorsed by the Barre government in June 1979 that required a quota of 20 per cent of women candidates on lists for municipal elections.’
      • ‘And last year the government reduced the quota of Bangladeshi workers it would allow into the country by 25 per cent.’
      • ‘I can understand that many of us want to see more woman representatives in the legislature, and political parties are already supposed to apply a minimum quota of women candidates.’
      • ‘The University is considering plans to introduce more rigorous target quotas for admissions of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.’
      • ‘The US is somewhat unique (although not alone) in using categories with set quotas to regulate immigrants coming to this country.’
      • ‘While Australia might appear to have substantial control over the size of the immigration intake by setting annual quotas for immigrant entry, the extent of control here is partly illusory.’
      • ‘The permitted quota of fee paying students for any course is expected to be extended from 25% to as high as 50%.’
      • ‘These are the reports that were later used to justify ethnic quotas of immigrants.’
      • ‘There would be limits on their rights to buy property, and strict quotas of Cypriot refugees allowed to return to the north.’
      • ‘However, the rush to assimilate, as well as the decreased number of new immigrants because of quotas led to the decline of such publications and of spoken Arabic.’
    4. 1.4(in a system of proportional representation) the minimum number of votes required to elect a candidate.
      • ‘The non-party councillor got 1790 votes and was elected on the first count having exceeded the quota by 690 votes.’
      • ‘In that election, he achieved the highest Fianna Fail vote relative to the quota and achieved the fourth highest overall poll in the country.’
      • ‘By contrast, if you give your second preference to a strong candidate who reaches the quota - but no more - on the first count, the value of your second preference will fall to zero.’
      • ‘In general most people voted for local candidates although none got a big enough quota to be elected.’
      • ‘After all, he topped the poll and exceeded the quota by 2,440 votes in the last general election.’
      • ‘Despite all these, Jim gained 541 first-preference votes and reached the quota when his running mate, Roberts, dropped out of contention.’
      • ‘The National Assembly system is based on quotas so no one group will hold a majority.’
      • ‘A quota is established as the number of votes a candidate requires to be elected.’
      • ‘Loosely, though, to be elected a candidate requires a quota of votes.’
      • ‘To win the branch vote, a candidate must reach the quota, which is 50% + 1.’
      • ‘This could see a number of candidates being elected without achieving the quota of votes that has been required in the past.’
      • ‘That final count saw Behan, Clear, Callaghan, Scully and Power elected without having reached the quota of 691 votes on Sunday evening.’
      • ‘On that occasion, he headed the poll with exactly 100 votes over the quota.’
      • ‘And for the record, my vote will go to the Greens in the Senate, in the knowledge that should it lose out in the race for a quota, my vote will go to the Democrats.’
      • ‘If those second choice candidates reach the required quota, any surplus votes they may have are re-distributed in the same manner.’
      • ‘He got a nod for the party at a council election as a candidate some years back but narrowly missed the quota to get elected.’
      • ‘With 363 voted, he was just thirteen short of the quota and was elected on the second count with votes to spare.’
    5. 1.5(in the Anglican Church) the proportion of the funds of a parish contributed to the finances of the diocese.
      • ‘The quota that the parish of St Patrick's Church had to meet has been reached and now whatever else the parish can make will be coming back into parish.’
      • ‘London's Lord Mayor and aldermen were again commanded to a levy: and they responded by locking the doors on their packed parish churches until their quotas were filled.’


Early 17th century: from medieval Latin quota (pars) how great (a part), feminine of quotus, from quot how many.