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).

Primary Meanings of portion

something determined in relation to something that includes it
give out
your overall circumstances or condition in life (including everything that happens to you)
Full Definitions of portion

n something determined in relation to something that includes it

“I read a portion of the manuscript”
component, component part, constituent, 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
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
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
Type of:
an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of two entities or parts together

n the allotment of some amount by dividing something

parcel, share
Type of:
allocation, allotment, apportioning, apportionment, assignation, parceling, parcelling
the act of distributing by allotting or apportioning; distribution according to a plan

n an individual quantity of food or drink taken as part of a meal

“his portion was larger than hers”
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

n assets belonging to or due to or contributed by an individual person or group

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

n money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage

dower, dowery, dowry
Type of:
something acquired without compensation

n something less than the whole of a human artifact

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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

v give out

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 out, lot, mete out, parcel out, shell out
administer or bestow, as in small portions

n your overall circumstances or condition in life (including everything that happens to you)

“success that was her portion
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
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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