Definition of ration in English:


Line breaks: ra¦tion
Pronunciation: /ˈraʃ(ə)n


  • 1A fixed amount of a commodity officially allowed to each person during a time of shortage, as in wartime: 1947 saw the bread ration reduced
    More example sentences
    • Food, previously supplied on ration, is scarce and expensive.
    • They came out dry and floury, like something one would expect from a wartime ration.
    • Sweets had gone on ration in 1939, along with sugar and most other food and clothing items.
    allowance, allocation, quota, fixed amount, amount, quantity, share, portion, helping, allotment, measure, part, lot, proportion, percentage
    rare apportionment, quantum, moiety
  • 1.1 (rations) An amount of food supplied on a regular basis, especially to members of the armed forces during a war: British rations were highly prized by American soldiers refugees queued for their meagre rations
    More example sentences
    • The authors find this ‘surprising’ given that fully 96 percent of the population receive regular food rations.
    • All government employees were supplied with food rations, which they kept in their living quarters.
    • Some purchased food and distributed it in regular rations.
    supplies, provisions, food, food and drink, foodstuffs, eatables, edibles; necessaries, necessities, stores; Scottish vivers
    informal grub, eats
    North American informal chuck
  • 1.2 (rations) Food; provisions: their emergency rations ran out
    More example sentences
    • By contrast, the commissary officer has been responsible for the provision of rations alone.
    • The end pockets of my bag are packed full of biscuits - my staple rations for the far east.
    • First, the impact of the sanctions on the population tend to make the latter even more dependent on the government than before, mainly for provision of the basic rations needed for survival.
  • 1.3A fixed amount of a particular thing: holidaymakers who like a generous ration of activity
    More example sentences
    • Smith went through his ration of nine overs in one go for 2-29, his second success being with the assistance of a splendid low catch on the boundary by Dave Ellis.
    • They were fed on a simple ration of barley, sugar beet pulp, soya and minerals.
    • But just because I don't want to deal with the blood and tears doesn't mean I shouldn't deal with them, and last night I was caught off guard and absorbed a large ration of both.


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come up (or be given) with the rations

military slang (Of a medal) be awarded automatically and without regard to merit: the British Military Cross didn’t come up with the rations
More example sentences
  • All of them were earned the hard way; none of them came up with the rations.


early 18th century: from French, from Latin ratio(n-) 'reckoning, ratio'.

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