1. A section or quantity within a larger thing; a part of a whole.
2. A part separated from a whole.
3. A part that is allotted to a person or group, as:
a. A helping of food.
b. The part of an estate received by an heir.
c. A woman's dowry: marriage portion.
4. A person's lot or fate.
tr.v. por·tioned, por·tion·ing, por·tions
1. To divide into parts or shares for distribution; parcel.
2. To provide with a share, inheritance, or dowry.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin portiō, portiōn-; see perə-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.