Definition of portfolio in English:


Syllabification: port·fo·li·o
Pronunciation: /pôrtˈfōlēˌō

noun (plural portfolios)

  • 1A large, thin, flat case for loose sheets of paper such as drawings or maps.
    More example sentences
    • Then she started picking up folders, portfolios, drawings, papers, everything important that she could find and locked it in her cabinet.
    • His fingers lost their iron grip, and the portfolio with the drawing paper fell to the ground, with my portrait landing at my feet.
    • I took my favorite drawings out of the portfolio and hung them as well.
    briefcase, case, valise, bag, attaché (case)
  • 1.1A set of pieces of creative work collected by someone to display their skills, especially to a potential employer.
    More example sentences
    • Part of their course work involves creating actual marketing pieces for their portfolios.
    • Since earning her graduate degree from Yale only two years ago, Katy Grannan has compiled an impressive portfolio of portraits.
    • In the midst of this fabulous display the patron and other gentlemen examine a portfolio while a young art student draws from the assembled works.
  • 1.2A varied set of photographs of a model or actor intended to be shown to a potential employer.
    More example sentences
    • Mark then started hiring models from agencies to photograph for his own portfolio.
    • The others are more general, and all of them are interspersed with portfolios of photographs by various photographers.
    • We pay for our own photographs for our portfolios, and then for the hours and hours we need to be just available.
  • 2A range of investments held by a person or organization: better returns on its investment portfolio
    More example sentences
    • Dividend reinvestment plans, or DRIPs, allow investors to build investment portfolios by reinvesting dividends into more shares.
    • I used to have a fair portion of my investment portfolio allocated to bonds.
    • To be sure, much global finance reflects growing investment portfolios, some doubtless with a speculative component.
    investments, holdings, funds
  • 2.1A range of products or services offered by an organization, especially when considered as a business asset: an unrivaled portfolio of quality brands
    More example sentences
    • I liaise with end-users, resellers and partners to see how we can improve our portfolio of products and services.
    • He added that the assurance that the enlarged portfolio of products and services and access to a broader target market base will offer growth opportunities to all investors.
    • And, we have a common commitment to deliver integrated solutions, open systems and architecture, and the broadest portfolio of products and services.
  • 3The position and duties of a minister of state or a member of a cabinet: he took on the Foreign Affairs portfolio
    More example sentences
    • However, he has been retained as a Cabinet minister without a portfolio.
    • Some Cabinet ministers whose portfolios are related to the forum's subject did not attend the meeting.
    • Timbul was given a position without a portfolio as an expert staff assigned to the minister.


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  • Relating to, denoting, or engaged in an employment pattern that involves a succession of short-term contracts and part-time work, rather than the more traditional model of a long-term single job: portfolio careers allow women to balance work with family
    More example sentences
    • The other term I coined a few years ago was portfolio career - portfolio jobs and portfolio workers - and that seems to have become accepted as a respectable thing to be.
    • Many doctors have portfolio careers - for example, having a post in general practice and in a hospital.
    • In the era of downsizing and portfolio careers, work no longer provides a secure economic or social identity.


early 18th century: from Italian portafogli, from portare 'carry' + foglio 'sheet of paper' (from Latin folium).

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