1. That which is divided off or separated, as a part from a whole; a separated part of anything.

2. A part considered by itself, though not actually cut off or separated from the whole. "These are parts of his ways; but how little a portion is heard of him!" (Job xxvi. 14) "Portions and parcels of the dreadful past." (Tennyson)

3. A part assigned; allotment; share; fate. "The lord of that servant . . . Will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers." (Luke xii. 46) "Man's portion is to die and rise again." (Keble)

4. The part of an estate given to a child or heir, or descending to him by law, and distributed to him in the settlement of the estate; an inheritance. "Give me the portion of goods that falleth to me." (Luke xv. 12)

5. A wife's fortune; a dowry.

Synonyms: Division, share, parcel, quantity, allotment, dividend.

Portion, Part. Part is generic, having a simple reference to some whole. Portion has the additional idea of such a division as bears reference to an individual, or is allotted to some object; as, a portion of one's time; a portion of Scripture.

Origin: F, from L. Portio, akin to pars, partis, a part. See Part.

1. To separate or divide into portions or shares; to parcel; to distribute. "And portion to his tribes the wide domain." (Pope)

2. To endow with a portion or inheritance. "Him portioned maids, apprenticed orphans, blest." (Pope)

Origin: Portioned; Portioning.

(01 Mar 1998)