To apportion is to divide something into shares and hand it out. With 11 guests at your birthday party, it makes sense to cut the cake into 12 slices and apportion one to each — leaving one slice for you!

The verb apportion means "allocate" or "divvy up," and it's often used to talk about the way money is distributed. For example, your parents might evenly apportion an allowance to each of their children, or apportion slightly less money to your youngest sibling. In government, power is also apportioned in various ways, as when laws apportion a certain number of congressional representatives to each state.

Definitions of apportion
  1. verb
    distribute according to a plan or set apart for a special purpose
    synonyms: allocate
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    reallocate, reapportion
    allocate, distribute, or apportion anew
    ration, ration out
    distribute in rations, as in the army
    award, present
    give, especially as an honor or reward
    present someone with a certificate
    bestow, confer
    type of:
    allot, assign, portion
    give out
  2. verb
    give out as one's portion or share
    synonyms: deal, divvy up, portion out, share
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    type of:
    distribute, give out, hand out, pass out
    give to several people
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