Definition of portfolio in English:

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Pronunciation: /pôrtˈfōlēˌō/

noun (plural portfolios)

1A large, thin, flat case for loose sheets of paper such as drawings or maps.
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.
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.
samples, examples, selection
1.2A varied set of photographs of a model or actor intended to be shown to a potential employer.
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.


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).

Words that rhyme with portfolio

folio, imbroglio, olio, polio

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: port·fo·li·o

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