If a friend asks you to invest in her new start-up in exchange for a portion, or part, of the company’s profits, consider the agreement carefully. Remember, a portion of zero is still zero.

Portion can also refer to the amount of food provided for each person at a meal. If you’re reviewing a restaurant, for example, you'll want to take note of the portion size. In addition, portion can be used as a verb meaning “divide and distribute something.” At birthday parties, we find it odd that the person celebrating her birthday is expected to perform the annoying task of portioning her own cake (perhaps it’s so she can claim the biggest portion).

Definitions of portion
  1. noun
    something determined in relation to something that includes it
    “I read a portion of the manuscript”
    synonyms: component, component part, constituent, moiety, part
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    the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists
    language unit, linguistic unit
    one of the natural units into which linguistic messages can be analyzed
    item, point
    a distinct part that can be specified separately in a group of things that could be enumerated on a list
    the part of a plant from which the roots spring or the part of a stalk or trunk nearest the roots
    base, basis
    the most important or necessary part of something
    detail, item, particular
    a small part that can be considered separately from the whole
    an individual or group or structure or other entity regarded as a structural or functional constituent of a whole
    anything that belongs to a set or class
    balance, remainder, residual, residue, residuum, rest
    something left after other parts have been taken away
    a part of a part
    the most worthless or undesirable part of something
    body substance
    the substance of the body
    living substance, protoplasm
    the substance of a living cell (including cytoplasm and nucleus)
    extended verbal expression in speech or writing
    a unit of language that native speakers can identify
    a unit of spoken language larger than a phoneme
    a minimal unit (as a word or stem) in the lexicon of a language; `go' and `went' and `gone' and `going' are all members of the English lexeme `go'
    minimal meaningful language unit; it cannot be divided into smaller meaningful units
    minimal language unit that has a syntactic (or morphological) function
    a language unit by which a person or thing is known
    agenda item
    one of the items to be considered
    an item that is incidental
    inventory item
    an item listed in an inventory
    line item
    an item in an appropriation bill
    news item
    an item in a newspaper
    place, position
    an item on a list or in a sequence
    a grouping of words in a sentence
    phone, sound, speech sound
    (phonetics) an individual sound unit of speech without concern as to whether or not it is a phoneme of some language
    a fundamental linguistic unit linking a signifier to that which is signified
    high spot, highlight
    the most interesting or memorable part
    dregs, leftover, remnant
    a small part or portion that remains after the main part no longer exists
    the chemical composition and properties of a substance or object
    material, stuff
    the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object
    a hypothetical substance once believed to be present in all combustible materials and to be released during burning
    (chemistry) a substance consisting of two or more substances mixed together (not in fixed proportions and not with chemical bonding)
    (physics and chemistry) the smallest component of an element having the chemical properties of the element
    chemical element, element
    any of the more than 100 known substances (of which 92 occur naturally) that cannot be separated into simpler substances and that singly or in combination constitute all matter
    (biology) any agency bringing about activation; a molecule that increases the activity of an enzyme or a protein that increases the production of a gene product in DNA transcription
    the substance that is acted upon by an enzyme or ferment
    one of four substances thought in ancient and medieval cosmology to constitute the physical universe
    an intervening substance through which something is achieved
    (biology) a substance in which specimens are preserved or displayed
    a substance that is fluid at room temperature and pressure
    a volatile substance; a substance that changes readily from solid or liquid to a vapor
    any substance possessing to a high degree the predominant properties of a plant or drug or other natural product from which it is extracted
    a detail or feature that adds visual emphasis to or contrasts with its surroundings
    type of:
    an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of two entities or parts together
  2. noun
    the allotment of some amount by dividing something
    synonyms: parcel, share
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    type of:
    allocation, allotment, apportioning, apportionment, assignation, parceling, parcelling
    the act of distributing by allotting or apportioning; distribution according to a plan
  3. noun
    an individual quantity of food or drink taken as part of a meal
    “his portion was larger than hers”
    synonyms: helping, serving
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    the lower joint of the leg of a fowl
    second joint, thigh
    the upper joint of the leg of a fowl
    breast, white meat
    meat carved from the breast of a fowl
    the wing of a fowl
    a circular helping of food (especially a boneless cut of meat)
    a small muscle on each side of the back of a fowl
    parson's nose, pope's nose
    the tail of a dressed fowl
    piece, slice
    a serving that has been cut from a larger portion
    round, round of drinks
    a serving to each of a group (usually alcoholic)
    a single serving of a beverage
    a serving (of wine) poured out in honor of a deity
    turkey drumstick, turkey leg
    the lower joint of the leg of a turkey
    chicken drumstick, chicken leg
    the lower joint of the leg of a chicken
    turkey wing
    the wing of a turkey
    chicken wing
    the wing of a chicken
    cutlet, escallop, scallop, scollop
    thin slice of meat (especially veal) usually fried or broiled
    filet, fillet, fish filet, fish fillet
    a longitudinal slice or boned side of a fish
    a drink to follow immediately after another drink
    draft, draught, potation, tipple
    a serving of drink (usually alcoholic) drawn from a keg
    pledge, toast
    a drink in honor of or to the health of a person or event
    (facetious) a serving of an alcoholic beverage
    eye opener
    an alcoholic drink intended to wake one up early in the morning
    an alcoholic drink taken at bedtime; often alcoholic
    hair of the dog
    an alcoholic drink supposed to cure a hangover
    shandy, shandygaff
    a drink made of beer and lemonade
    stirrup cup
    a farewell drink (especially one offered to a horseman ready to depart); usually alcoholic
    a drink taken at sundown
    sweet spiced hot milk curdled with ale or beer
    sillabub, syllabub
    spiced hot milk with rum or wine
    sangaree, sangria
    sweetened red wine and orange or lemon juice with soda water
    whiskey neat, whisky neat
    a drink consisting of whiskey without a mixer
    whiskey on the rocks, whisky on the rocks
    whiskey with ice
    float, ice-cream float, ice-cream soda
    a drink with ice cream floating in it
    milk shake, milkshake, shake
    frothy drink of milk and flavoring and sometimes fruit or ice cream
    liqueur poured over shaved ice
    type of:
    small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity
    an indefinite quantity that is below average size or magnitude
  4. noun
    assets belonging to or due to or contributed by an individual person or group
    synonyms: part, percentage, share
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    a portion of something (especially money)
    a share that has been dispensed or distributed
    a share of money or food or clothing that has been charitably given
    a portion of something divided into shares
    a fixed portion that is allotted (especially in times of scarcity)
    an amount allowed or granted (as during a given period)
    piece, slice
    a share of something
    a promised or claimed share of loot or money
    interest, stake
    (law) a right or legal share of something; a financial involvement with something
    profit sharing
    a system in which employees receive a share of the net profits of the business
    a share of the profits
    allocation, allotment
    a share set aside for a specific purpose
    funds advanced to a prospector or to someone starting a business in return for a share of the profits
    controlling interest
    ownership of more than 50% of a corporation's voting shares
    insurable interest
    an interest in a person or thing that will support the issuance of an insurance policy; an interest in the survival of the insured or in the preservation of the thing that is insured
    vested interest
    (law) an interest in which there is a fixed right to present or future enjoyment and that can be conveyed to another
    security interest
    any interest in a property that secures the payment of an obligation
    terminable interest
    an interest in property that terminates under specific conditions
    undivided interest, undivided right
    the interest in property owned by tenants whereby each tenant has an equal right to enjoy the entire property
    an interest in land capable of being inherited
    rake-off, vigorish
    a percentage (of winnings or loot or profit) taken by an operator or gangster
    a share that has been allocated again
    a proportional share assigned to each participant
    privy purse
    allowance for a monarch's personal expenses
    the ownership interest of shareholders in a corporation
    (law) an interest in an estate that reverts to the grantor (or his heirs) at the end of some period (e.g., the death of the grantee)
    (frequently plural) the interest possessed by law or custom in some intangible thing
    type of:
    anything of material value or usefulness that is owned by a person or company
  5. noun
    money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage
    synonyms: dower, dowery, dowry
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    type of:
    something acquired without compensation
  6. noun
    something less than the whole of a human artifact
    synonyms: part
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    a part that is joined to something larger
    the part of a key that enters a lock and lifts the tumblers
    the narrow part of a bottle near the top
    a rounded part of a cylindrical instrument (usually at one end)
    butt, stub
    the small unused part of something (especially the end of a cigarette that is left after smoking)
    component, constituent, element
    an artifact that is one of the individual parts of which a composite entity is made up; especially a part that can be separated from or attached to a system
    a part that is cut out or is intended to be cut out
    the weaker part of a sword's blade from the forte to the tip
    fore edge, foredge
    the part of a book that faces inward when the book is shelved; the part opposite the spine
    the stronger part of a sword blade between the hilt and the foible
    a small part or item forming a piece of a whole
    (golf) the part of the clubhead where it joins the shaft
    the central part of a car wheel (or fan or propeller etc) through which the shaft or axle passes
    the part of a ship's equipment or cargo that is thrown overboard to lighten the load in a storm
    either of the two halves of a bow from handle to tip
    a narrow part of an artifact that resembles a neck in position or form
    the part of a hammerhead opposite the flat striking surface (may have various shapes)
    a separate part of a whole
    a metal or plastic part that is made by a mechanical press
    a part of a machine that supports or guides another part
    section, segment
    one of several parts or pieces that fit with others to constitute a whole object
    shank, waist
    the narrow part of the shoe connecting the heel and the wide part of the sole
    backbone, spine
    the part of a book's cover that encloses the inner side of the book's pages and that faces outward when the book is shelved
    (golf) the part of a clubhead farthest from the shaft
    turnout, widening
    a part of a road that has been widened to allow cars to pass or park
    the rear part of the stage
    the part of a building above the ground floor
    the remaining parts of something that has been wrecked
    accessory, add-on, appurtenance, supplement
    a supplementary component that improves capability
    add-on, addition, improver
    a component that is added to something to improve it
    a small appendage
    the sound elements of television
    auto part, car part
    a component of an automobile
    long thick piece of wood or metal or concrete, etc., used in construction
    bend, curve
    curved segment (of a road or river or railroad track etc.)
    cigar butt
    small part of a cigar that is left after smoking
    cigarette butt
    small part of a cigarette that is left after smoking
    a crystalline element used as a component in various electronic devices
    the section of a pedestal between the base and the surbase
    flotsam, jetsam
    the floating wreckage of a ship
    an appendage to hold onto
    grip, handgrip, handle, hold
    the appendage to an object that is designed to be held in order to use or move it
    computer hardware, hardware
    (computer science) the mechanical, magnetic, electronic, and electrical components making up a computer system
    heating element
    the component of a heater or range that transforms fuel or electricity into heat
    a component of a mixture or compound
    a component of production; something that goes into the production of output
    lagan, lagend, ligan
    goods (or wreckage) on the sea bed that is attached to a buoy so that it can be recovered
    component consisting of a side piece opposite the moldboard
    hinged or detachable flat section (as of a table or door)
    a section of something that is long and narrow
    (usually plural) the components needed for making or doing something
    a self-contained component (unit or item) that is used in combination with other components
    piece of cloth, piece of material
    a separate part consisting of fabric
    piece of leather
    a separate part consisting of leather
    pel, picture element, pixel
    (computer science) the smallest discrete component of an image or picture on a CRT screen (usually a colored dot)
    a component or accessory added to something after it has been manufactured
    the butt of a marijuana cigarette
    a small piece of something that is left over after the rest has been used
    fragment, shard, sherd
    a broken piece of a brittle artifact
    snip, snippet, snipping
    a small piece of anything (especially a piece that has been snipped off)
    spare, spare part
    an extra component of a machine or other apparatus
    spark gap
    a component of an ignition system; consists of two shaped electrodes and the space between them
    a piece of wood that has been turned on a lathe; used as a baluster, chair leg, etc.
    straight, straightaway
    a straight segment of a roadway or racecourse
    subdivision, subsection
    a section of a section; a part of a part; i.e., a part of something already divided
    appendage added to extend the length of something
    type of:
    object, physical object
    a tangible and visible entity; an entity that can cast a shadow
  7. verb
    give out
    synonyms: allot, assign
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    allow, appropriate, earmark, reserve, set aside
    give or assign a resource to a particular person or cause
    allocate, apportion
    distribute according to a plan or set apart for a special purpose
    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
    type of:
    administer, allot, deal, deal out, dish out, dispense, distribute, dole, dole out, lot, mete, mete out, parcel out, shell out
    administer or bestow, as in small portions
  8. noun
    your overall circumstances or condition in life (including everything that happens to you)
    “success that was her portion
    synonyms: circumstances, destiny, fate, fortune, lot, luck
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    good fortune, good luck, luckiness
    an auspicious state resulting from favorable outcomes
    a manifestation of God's foresightful care for his creatures
    bad luck, ill luck, misfortune, tough luck
    an unfortunate state resulting from unfavorable outcomes
    lack of success
    prosperity, successfulness
    the condition of prospering; having good fortune
    blessing, boon
    a desirable state
    the condition of being financially weak
    adversity, hard knocks, hardship
    a state of misfortune or affliction
    gutter, sewer, toilet
    a state of misfortune resulting in lost effort or money
    hard cheese
    bad luck
    a state of complete lack of some abstract property
    bank failure
    the inability of a bank to meet its credit obligations
    crop failure
    the failure of crops to produce a marketable surplus
    dead duck
    something doomed to failure
    type of:
    a mode of being or form of existence of a person or thing
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