Definition of portion in US English:



  • 1A part of a whole; an amount, section, or piece of something.

    ‘a portion of the jetty still stands’
    ‘he could repeat large portions of Shakespeare’
    • ‘You look down from a helicopter and you see the blocks go by underneath you and you think for a second it could be any midsized town in America, till you notice that there's whole portions blacked out.’
    • ‘It's much nicer to be on a brightly lit television set with an entertainer for a judge in front of you, and the whole nation or a portion of the nation with nothing better to do watching.’
    • ‘Indeed, to evaluate the prospects of a proposed intervention, one must attempt to project the effects of the change upon the whole, not just upon a portion of the whole.’
    • ‘However, many processed foods can be enriched in dietary fibre through the addition of the bran portion of whole grain.’
    • ‘In this process, we keep the animals in some portion of the land for some time then shift them into another portion until the whole field gets fertilized.’
    • ‘However, as suppliers are forced to take on increased responsibility for whole portions of the vehicle, new issues emerge - liability for one.’
    • ‘The analysis of data is based on a portion of the whole survey.’
    • ‘And I've only really investigated a small portion of the whole place.’
    • ‘In plants, retroelement DNA accounts for a large portion of the repeat fraction.’
    • ‘Many proteins show homology across their whole length or across portions of their sequence, therefore many of the digestion products of such proteins may be identical.’
    • ‘Even if a province does not use all of its weekly allocation, it still gets the whole portion for the next week.’
    • ‘Interfaith relationships can be more difficult for Wiccans and other Pagans, for the simple reason that, to begin with, we are only a small portion of the whole society.’
    • ‘Fair use or fair dealing depend more on the portion of the whole rather than word count.’
    • ‘They decided to drop a whole portion of the route, and instead go the long way, abandoning Vrygunst mountain and instead going around Tafelburg.’
    • ‘In economic terms, every economy has a right to resort to purely economic measures in a situation where a certain portion or the whole economy is jeopardised through foreign trade.’
    • ‘Has this, in your opinion, set back the question of Israel and the Palestinian state and that whole portion of the Middle East?’
    • ‘In our first volume we merely described that part of Etna which has been formed during the historical era; an insignificant portion of the whole mass.’
    • ‘But when modern societies abolished the stigmas on illegitimacy, divorce, and all the rest, whole portions of the social structure just caved in.’
    • ‘The ‘crankshaft’ style release pattern may result from a recoil artefact causing apparent age variations in the finer grained portions of this whole rock sample.’
    • ‘Whole portions of the story can be missed if the player isn't at the right place, at the right time.’
    part, piece, bit, section, chunk, segment, slice, fragment
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    1. 1.1 A part of something divided between two or more people; a share.
      ‘she wanted the right to decide how her portion of the allowance should be spent’
      • ‘The sponsorship money from Standard Bank is divided into three portions.’
      • ‘The legal description for the site, described on plan A1.1, includes the three parcels of land purchased by the Defendant and a portion of the adjacent Town parkland to the west.’
      • ‘The stake to be floated will be divided into four equal portions and will be put for sale in different sessions.’
      • ‘The letters became public as Stringer sued her lover's brother to obtain a small portion of the estate.’
      • ‘According to the Affidavit of William Sutton he and his wife began to formulate a plan to develop and sell portions of the cottage property.’
      • ‘So now that the PM has decided to return his portion of the increase. people making all the comments and opinions necessary.’
      • ‘The project is divided into different portions, individually tendered and contracted.’
      • ‘In such cases of unequal division, the husband is allocated the largest portion in accordance with ‘tradition’.’
      • ‘It has 18 months from the June 30 date of listing to raise the portion of shares in public hands to one-quarter of the company.’
      • ‘The Parish is being divided up and portions are being allocated to Salthill, St. Joseph's and the Claddagh Parishes.’
      • ‘Having unknowingly signed over a significant portion of her shares, she found she no longer had a veto on rights sales.’
      • ‘Sofia will sell a portion of its shares in Municipal Bank to reduce its stake to below 50 per cent, Sofia City Council decided on July 22.’
      • ‘Islam, however, under the Shari'a law, provides a portion of the estate for widows.’
      • ‘Upon the death of a landowner, land is divided in equal portions among the surviving children.’
      • ‘This results in the spousal portion are about $1,300 per month.’
      • ‘Infuriated with this reply, Lear divides her portion between his other daughters, with the condition that himself with 100 knights shall be maintained by each daughter in turn.’
      • ‘Standish decided to put a portion of his share of the alms given to us by the celebrated Plenipotentiary Of Meat toward playing the numbers-lottery.’
      • ‘In this period the cost of the U.S. portion - the largest share of the project - began to draw the attention of NASA and the U.S. Congress.’
      • ‘Or just run the auction again, but only for the dissatisfied people and only to divide up their portion of the rent as determined by the first auction.’
      • ‘A sister shares only half the portion of her brothers under the Quranic laws of inheritance - the assumption being that her husband will maintain her.’
      • ‘After Ma died, his four children asked Wu to share this amount by dividing it into five equal portions, meaning each of them would receive NT $800,000.’
      share, slice, quota, part, bit, percentage, amount, quantity, ration, piece, fraction, division, subdivision, allocation, allotment, measure, apportionment
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    2. 1.2 An amount of food suitable for or served to one person.
      ‘a portion of ice cream’
      ‘burger joints offering huge portions’
      • ‘The children shared a portion and there was plenty for each of them.’
      • ‘Instead I found a roll of pre-made cookie dough and divided it into small portions before placing them on a cookie tray and turning on the oven.’
      • ‘Scientists examined 99 foods sold as either pre-wrapped portions or already divided into servings, such as sliced bread.’
      • ‘Divide into six equal portions and, with your hands, roll each into a ball.’
      • ‘Recently, I had several meals at a golf course where the food portions were huge.’
      • ‘Transfer dough to clean work surface and divide into 12 equal portions.’
      • ‘Bake some oat cookies or brownies and divide into single portions, clingwrap then freeze so they are ready, like the scones, to be taken from the freezer first thing in the morning.’
      • ‘You can even premeasure each meal to save yourself the hassle of trying to divide the correct portion while on the go.’
      • ‘When freezing leftovers, the quickest way to cool down a casserole is to divide it into individual portions and place in shallow containers.’
      • ‘We also shared a portion of Fried Seaweed which was satisfyingly crispy.’
      • ‘We opted to share a portion of raspberry crème brûlée with cream which tasted absolutely fabulous, full of raspberries with crisp caramelised sugar and rich cold cream.’
      • ‘‘I eat only 50 percent of the portions in front of me,’ Grubbe says, which is a good rule of thumb.’
      • ‘Do you like hearty Southern Italian food served in huge portions?’
      • ‘She returned in triumph to show us the sea bass cooked, sitting on a still smouldering bed, before taking it away again to be divided into portions.’
      • ‘Divide your portions in half before eating so you can have a second meal.’
      • ‘Observing that your girlfriends, past and present, were on the slender side my wife opined this was probably due to your eating a substantial share of their dinner portions as well as all of your own.’
      • ‘Spaghetti bolognese When I make this, I make a big batch and divide it into portions to keep in the freezer for an instant meal.’
      • ‘All of those good French loaves turn into some agreeable bread pudding served with a frothy little sauce - in a portion suitable for giants.’
      • ‘But, to be honest, I've grown to enjoy only eating at proper meal-times and then to eat sensible size portions of more suitable foods.’
      • ‘An easy way to experience the difference for yourself is to mash up an avocado and divide it into four portions.’
      • ‘If the total food grown worldwide was divided in equal portions for the world's population, there would be plenty for everyone with some to spare.’
      • ‘Obviously, we load up on all the wrong things: favourite foods, huge portions, too many sweets, too many drinks, and too much sitting around.’
      • ‘Most notably, our headwaiter could not understand at the outset that we wanted to order and share half portions of each of several different dishes.’
      helping, serving, amount, quantity, piece
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    3. 1.3Law The part or share of an estate given or descending by law to an heir.
      • ‘In 1953, as Arthur lay on his deathbed, Comtessa Dialta claims he promised his illegitimate daughter, Liana, a portion of his estate.’
      • ‘Philippa left you a residuary portion of her estate.’
      • ‘Madalena had been married to Ana's deceased brother, Luis, and Ana claimed that she had a right to a portion of his estate.’
      • ‘Similarly the same calculation will be done for the elected portion of the Inherited Estate.’
      • ‘Some couples pledged to bequeath a portion of their estates, however modest, to an adopted son or daughter.’
      • ‘One was a local view that presumably depicted a portion of the Deering estate, which encompassed Westbrook.’
      • ‘Would you support a colonization foundation for the Moon with a portion of your estate?’
      • ‘But if your partner dies without leaving a will, you will be entitled to inherit a portion of their estate.’
    4. 1.4archaic A person's future as allotted by fate; one's destiny or lot.
      ‘what will be my portion?’
      destiny, lot, fate, fortune, luck, kismet
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    5. 1.5archaic A dowry given to a bride at her marriage.
      • ‘Some years later Belott quarrelled with his father-in-law and brought the lawsuit alleging that Mountjoy had broken promises to pay a marriage portion of £60 and to leave his daughter £200 in his will.’
      • ‘Discussion then centred on the £25 marriage portions provided under the Daniel McGrath Foundation Trust for brides from Bagenalstown parish.’
      • ‘Indeed, of the two rights, marriage seems to have been the more contested - affecting, as it did, not only the transmission of inheritances but also the fate of dowers, maritagiums, and marriage portions.’
      • ‘With these premises undergirding the plot, Restoration rake-heroes can spend four acts committing every imaginable offense and still be rewarded with the virtuous heroine and her marriage portion before the curtain closes.’
      • ‘She had no marriage portion, no expectations, no means of getting known, understood, loved, and wedded by a man of wealth and distinction; and she let herself be married off to a little clerk in the Ministry of Education.’
      • ‘I married him to become Countess of Cergi, he for my two hundred gold pieces a year and the Arwyl Castle as my marriage portion.’
      • ‘She appointed a local attorney, claimed her marriage portion in full and placed a charge on an Iranian property in which the Husband had an inherited share.’


[with object]
  • 1Divide (something) into shares to be distributed among two or more people.

    ‘the fish are portioned out to the different families’
    • ‘And the meetings, they were never portioned off so that from 10 to 11 we'd have a meeting, they were just kind of free-flowing as I mentioned, and they would go all over the place.’
    • ‘Whatever the specifics of his will, they're irrelevant to us until my mother's estate is portioned out.’
    • ‘Why not portion it out over a couple of releases?’
    • ‘Today, all the earth's territory and people are portioned among sovereign states in the Westphalian tradition.’
    • ‘They had been tested and found to be of an acceptable standard; these lines had portioned the glazed floor into sectors, but all in the same rectangle.’
    • ‘A display panel is portioned into eight-by-eight arrays of 64 pixels, each pixel including three primary color sub-pixels.’
    • ‘The mail compartment measured six by eight feet was portioned off in a baggage/passenger combine coach that had eight seats.’
    • ‘My hard drive is portioned into C and D drives, with C used for my OS and miscellaneous software, and D for all of my personal files.’
    • ‘Every month you send the agency a single payment that is portioned out to each of your creditors until your debts are paid off.’
    • ‘The electronic device can also portion the bandwidth to several independent streams simultaneously.’
    • ‘He portioned the poem out to a troupe of seven dancers, one word at a time, accompanied by a signature gesture which grew into movement phrases.’
    • ‘How you portion these snacks really depends on your levels of hunger and fullness.’
    • ‘Women will sit for hours in the kitchen portioning the meat into small polythene bags ready for distribution among family, friends and neighbours.’
    • ‘Ask your butcher to cut you a thick piece of liver and portion it at home.’
    • ‘My first meal began with the botan shrimp, continued with a sizzling cassolette of sweetbreads, and concluded with a single, generously portioned short rib, braised to perfect tenderness in a red-wine-and-brandy sauce.’
    • ‘Referring to a food simply by it's glycemic index may seem too simple when you look at the big picture of how you portion foods and how they work together when eaten in a meal.’
    • ‘Unusual eating habits develop, such as avoiding food and meals, picking out a few foods and eating these in small quantities, or carefully weighing and portioning food.’
    • ‘The basement level is devoted exclusively to cleaning and portioning the fish.’
    • ‘For me, that sounds like an exercise in very carefully portioning my focus - especially if Jake doesn't know many of the other people present very well.’
    • ‘Freedom cannot be portioned out by government officials in arbitrary doses in order to build what the statist mentalities call a Great Society.’
    share out, allocate, apportion, distribute, hand out, deal out, dole out, give out, dish out, parcel out, divide out, allot, dispense, measure out, mete out
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1usually as adjective, with submodifier portioned Serve (food) in an amount suitable for one person.
      ‘generously portioned lunches’
      • ‘Abalone dressed with chilli, sweetish vinegar and served with melon and jellyfish was relatively impressive if cautiously portioned.’
      • ‘The generous portioning of excellent salmon, prawns, clams and squid didn't really make up for the disappointing sauce and over-cooked vermicelli.’
      • ‘And a seafood triumvirate of bluefin tuna, prawn in parsley purée, and scallop carpaccio with bottarga is too stingily portioned to fully enjoy.’
      • ‘And the one time she cooks every week for our family dinner is always sparsely portioned… which is no wonder why everyone in my family is as thin as a pin.’
      • ‘His features were striking, almost as if they were sculpted to be perfectly portioned and strong.’
      • ‘With all the amply portioned and sun-dappled pleasure going around, fair play as defined by screenwriting manuals hardly seems a pressing issue.’
      • ‘Those same homemade tortellini reappear in a thick cream sauce, modestly portioned but immodestly rich.’
      • ‘Soups seem to be particularly good, and on a previous occasion I had some superb, and generously portioned, wild mushroom broth.’
      • ‘He had slipped the quiches - each individually portioned and breathtakingly beautiful - into the oven shortly before my arrival, and the air in the kitchen was almost palpably thick, heady and rich with butter and cheese.’
      • ‘Everything was pretty good, reasonably portioned, and was decently priced overall.’
      • ‘Perfect portioning of each dish meant that dessert was inevitable - and again, there is nothing on the menu that should be avoided.’
      • ‘Food was good if erratically portioned - my entrée was huge but main course was quite tiny.’
      • ‘Their Spritz al Bitter is a speciality and wines and whiskeys are fairly priced and generously portioned - not bad for a bar in Italy.’
      • ‘There's also a dish of Kobe beef, which was bland, meagerly portioned, and not worth the whopping price tag of $56.’
    2. 1.2archaic Give a dowry to (a bride at her marriage)
      ‘my parents will portion me most handsomely’


Middle English: from Old French porcion, from Latin portio(n-), from the phrase pro portione ‘in proportion’.