Definition of ration in English:

ration

noun

  • 1A fixed amount of a commodity officially allowed to each person during a time of shortage, as in wartime:

    ‘1947 saw the bread ration reduced’
    • ‘While they wait for the train, the prisoners eat their meager ration of bread.’
    • ‘The first type, people come once a week, are weighed and measured, and receive their weekly ration.’
    • ‘Although even those sacred cows have had their hay ration reduced in the last few years.’
    • ‘So the refugees are having to swap some of their meager food ration for other vital supplies that they are not given.’
    • ‘Slave families typically received a scant weekly ration of cornmeal and fatty pork.’
    • ‘Ivan Denisovich eats the half ration of bread he brought with him.’
    • ‘Two pounds of food a day was their ration, including ‘meat fibre mixed with fat’.’
    • ‘Petrol was scarce in the world let alone Ireland and was available on ration for essential services such as fire, ambulance, police, taxi and doctors.’
    • ‘They came out dry and floury, like something one would expect from a wartime ration.’
    • ‘We allowed the staff to use the card to buy the ration for themselves.’
    • ‘He bursts into laughter as he recalls the time a soldier from Liverpool accidentally dropped his bread ration into the soup.’
    • ‘The food ration is enclosed in yellow plastic bags.’
    • ‘For example, it significantly reduced ration and fuel costs through consolidated contracting and distribution.’
    • ‘Sweets had gone on ration in 1939, along with sugar and most other food and clothing items.’
    • ‘Back in the barracks, Ivan Denisovich hides a portion of his bread ration inside his mattress.’
    • ‘Cows are fed a total mixed ration and those yielding over 25 litres are fed concentrates in the parlour.’
    • ‘For example a 1,200-pound mature horse at maintenance may need the total ration to supply 1.5 to 1.75 pounds of protein per day to meet these needs.’
    • ‘All milking females are fed the same ration and no allowances is made for stage of lactation.’
    • ‘Food, previously supplied on ration, is scarce and expensive.’
    • ‘He urged processors to bring in a subsidy on ration to help farmers' meet extra feed costs.’
    allowance, allocation, quota, fixed amount, amount, quantity, share, portion, helping, allotment, measure, part, lot, proportion, percentage
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    1. 1.1rations An amount of food supplied on a regular basis, especially to members of the armed forces during a war:
      ‘British rations were highly prized by American soldiers’
      ‘refugees queued for their meagre rations’
      • ‘A much larger problem is the army rations that make up the rest of my diet.’
      • ‘Unable to supplement their meager rations via hoarding or purchases on the public black markets, inmates soon deteriorated.’
      • ‘They will be given basic daily food rations, but few luxuries.’
      • ‘Forced labour and starvation rations ensure that prisoners are too weak to rebel.’
      • ‘Our food supply is running low so rations have nearly been cut in half.’
      • ‘The authors find this ‘surprising’ given that fully 96 percent of the population receive regular food rations.’
      • ‘Heads of families collecting the monthly rations have been asked to check the details of their households.’
      • ‘Only three days' rations remained: time and options were running out.’
      • ‘The arrival of our daily food rations was an event largely ignored.’
      • ‘They get a government grant of $17 per adult and rations of rice and wheat flour.’
      • ‘So as the forces move forward, they have already distributed 300,000 humanitarian rations.’
      • ‘He continues to visit, bringing with him extra rations of bread for Elie.’
      • ‘Some purchased food and distributed it in regular rations.’
      • ‘Residents lived on meagre rations and in squalor, suffering epidemics of leprosy and other contagious diseases.’
      • ‘All government employees were supplied with food rations, which they kept in their living quarters.’
      • ‘The tinned food they had in their army rations has apparently run out.’
      • ‘The food was tinned military rations, tuna or bully beef.’
      • ‘We had a few day's rations left, if we were careful.’
      • ‘The husband cut his own rations, feeding his share to his son.’
      supplies, provisions, food, food and drink, foodstuffs, eatables, edibles
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    2. 1.2rations Food; provisions:
      ‘their emergency rations ran out’
      • ‘Emergency rations are always carried on board the Soyuz, so we made our lunch from these.’
      • ‘The end pockets of my bag are packed full of biscuits - my staple rations for the far east.’
      • ‘Zephyr sighed and took some of the rations and began nibbling on them.’
      • ‘Supplies were limited and fresh food rations were rare.’
      • ‘Afterward, I drank whisky with my friends, nibbled at the unappetizing rations, and smoked and smoked.’
      • ‘Although its taste is barely acceptable these meager rations were all the station dared supply.’
      • ‘In 1926 Bruce Chapman, a cameleer and station hand, had a large supply of rations pilfered at Mount Peake.’
      • ‘These food rations act as an incentive for income transfer among community members.’
      • ‘Sixty percent of the population depends totally on food rations from the UN oil for food programme for basic nutrition.’
      • ‘Likewise, feedlot operators will be able to feed rations matched to an animal's economic promise.’
      • ‘Kanimbla also provided support to landbased personnel through the provision of fresh rations and a laundry service.’
      • ‘First, the impact of the sanctions on the population tend to make the latter even more dependent on the government than before, mainly for provision of the basic rations needed for survival.’
      • ‘As you know, the coalition countries have been air dropping daily humanitarian rations for you.’
      • ‘They are completely dependent on the meagre rations provided by the Colombo government.’
      • ‘By contrast, the commissary officer has been responsible for the provision of rations alone.’
      nourishment, sustenance, nutriment, subsistence, fare, bread, daily bread
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    3. 1.3 A fixed amount of a particular thing:
      ‘holidaymakers who like a generous ration of activity’
      • ‘A more lively character would be hard to meet and, once again, on her brief visit to Ireland, Stephanie insisted on her ration of set dancing!’
      • ‘However, we couldn't stay long as Mrs Mungo gulped down her ration of six dry sherries far too quickly.’
      • ‘All I needed now was a succession of day-return rail tickets and a comfortable ration of rest days.’
      • ‘Where latitude does have an important influence on the resultant wine is in the annual ration of sunlight, vital for photosynthesis, but often overlooked by those preoccupied by temperature.’
      • ‘The return to Greenwich Mean Time means more light in the morning, when farmers are up and about, but less in the evening, when most of us get our ration of daylight.’
      • ‘They were fed on a simple ration of barley, sugar beet pulp, soya and minerals.’
      • ‘He remembers his shock in the infant class when he was expected to work with the tiniest ration of clay he had ever seen.’
      • ‘Harry Cat thinks it's great of course, giving him more than double his ration of snuggle time and, so far as Harry Cat is concerned, you can't spend too much time snuggling up over winter.’
      • ‘He states that with a ration of only two ballpoint pens each month he ‘made art’ with the ‘most banal’ of instruments.’
      • ‘We have already had a good ration of shocks or surprises in this year's Championship and you can be certain we'll have some more.’
      • ‘Meanwhile the only advice it could give people was to carry on as normal - although it looks more important than ever to eat a fair ration of raw fruit and vegetables.’
      • ‘There's a crunchy ration of grit tracked in to the hall and kitchen now, joining with the Dolly-fluff to show just how very bad I am at routine vacuuming.’
      • ‘In fact, we've had a good ration of bright sunny days.’
      • ‘Cold showers, self-denial and a daily ration of physical discomfort were de rigueur and considered character forming.’
      • ‘But just because I don't want to deal with the blood and tears doesn't mean I shouldn't deal with them, and last night I was caught off guard and absorbed a large ration of both.’
      • ‘Just as well Harry and Dolly don't mind an extra ration of snoring.’
      • ‘Smith went through his ration of nine overs in one go for 2-29, his second success being with the assistance of a splendid low catch on the boundary by Dave Ellis.’
      • ‘I think it's worth the cost because its filters have returned a ration of sanity to my mail management.’
      • ‘Not everyone who reads an online journal wants to sit back while photos download, and a fair proportion of people have little interest in the pictures at all, preferring to have a decent ration of reading served up every day.’
      • ‘For instance, at Kyoto the USA cut a deal of dubious morality, politely called ‘emission trading’, to buy from Third World countries their unused ration of pollution.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Allow each person to have only a fixed amount of (a commodity):

    ‘petrol was so strictly rationed that bikes were always in demand’
    • ‘He sent him to Bombay to arrange for the release of the strictly rationed newsprint.’
    • ‘Petrol rationing during the war slowed this trend.’
    • ‘The continuation of war-time rationing squeezed living standards, while exports were increased.’
    • ‘Elective services are being severely rationed around the country - with no debate.’
    • ‘Electricity supplies were rationed because of frozen coal stocks, difficulties on the roads and labour unrest.’
    • ‘The summer itself was the driest since 1995, the year of water rationing.’
    • ‘"We need to ration health resources, " she said.’
    • ‘Currently, the US is rationing the supply of flu vaccine to the most at risk.’
    • ‘Maybe it stems from my experiences in secondary education when all writing materials were strictly rationed.’
    • ‘Herring was one of the few foods that were not rationed during the war.’
    • ‘Instead of being a right, walking has become a privilege to be carefully rationed.’
    • ‘But native Canadians still resent that their rights are rationed out by Parliament.’
    • ‘Brigid didn't understand it all, but because of some health problem Bob was strictly rationed with his daily input of liquid.’
    • ‘Carefully we rationed out about 13 milliliters each and then made a small toast for Christmas.’
    • ‘Waiting for services becomes the only way to ration the supply.’
    • ‘The solution, according to my vet, is carefully rationing her food.’
    • ‘Congestion charges are intended to ration a congested resource to those who value it the most.’
    • ‘In the case of the Working for Families package, the government is giving us back rationed amounts of our own money.’
    • ‘You could ration care, and only pay for a limited number of services.’
    • ‘The patient's physician did not want to be the one to ration resources at the bedside.’
    control, conserve, budget
    distribute, share out, measure out, divide out, divide up, apportion, give out, deal out, issue, allocate, allot, dispense, hand out, pass out, dole out, parcel out
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1ration someone to Allow someone to have only (a fixed amount of a commodity):
      ‘the population was rationed to four litres of water per person per day’
      • ‘Beer is rationed to the slaves building the Egyptian pyramids.’
      • ‘The ends, along with tackles, rationed Auburn to 43 yards rushing on 36 carries in USC's 23-0 win.’
      • ‘Our old landlord rationed us to two picture-hooks, and in the main room only.’
      • ‘Tech came after Weinke hard with a variety of blitzes that resulted in four sacks and rationed Florida State to 30 yards rushing.’
      • ‘While people trapped in the Convention Center had no water and those in the Superdome were rationed to a pint a day, the USS Bataan waited for federal orders just offshore.’
      • ‘Swashbuckling forward play which illuminated the gloomy wasteland of the National League has been rationed to tantalising glimpses.’
      • ‘He also remembers devastating droughts, when ‘we were rationed to 10 gallons a day.’’

Phrases

  • come up (or be given) with the rations

    • military slang (of a medal) be awarded automatically and without regard to merit:

      ‘the British Military Cross didn't come up with the rations’
      • ‘All of them were earned the hard way; none of them came up with the rations.’

Origin

Early 18th century: from French, from Latin ratio(n-) reckoning, ratio.

Pronunciation:

ration

/ˈraʃ(ə)n/