Definition of quota in English:


Syllabification: quo·ta
Pronunciation: /ˈkwōdə


1A limited or fixed number or amount of people or things, in particular.
allocation, share, allowance, limit, ration, portion, dispensation, slice (of the pie/cake);
percentage, commission;
proportion, fraction, bit, amount, quantity
informal cut
1.1A limited quantity of a particular product that under official controls can be produced, exported, or imported: the country may be exceeding its OPEC quota of 1,100,000 barrels of oil per day
More example sentences
  • Thousands of officials found employment in allocating and policing quotas in importing and exporting countries.
  • Protective safeguards, such as import and export controls, quotas, subsidies etc, will need to be introduced over a clearly agreed transition period to all continents.
  • The government will also abolish import permissions and export quotas.
1.2A fixed share of something that a person or group is entitled to receive or is bound to contribute: the Faeroe Islands' commercial salmon quota
More example sentences
  • If it is accepted that allocation of water rights would be made according to equal per capita shares, the total quota of each side would be proportional to the population size.
  • There is no quota on the total number of animals that landowners may kill, though they are restricted to one mountain lion per person.
  • In 2003 the two nations agreed to double the total annual fishing quota to 800,000 crabs.
1.3A person’s share of something that must be done: they were arrested to help fill the quota of arrests the security police had to make during the crackdown
1.4A fixed minimum or maximum number of a particular group of people allowed to do something, as immigrants to enter a country, workers to undertake a job, or students to enroll for a course: they demanded a quota for women on the committee
More example sentences
  • Combined, these groups report on every aspect of public policy; from changes to the minimum wage to immigration quotas to health care reform.
  • And last year the government reduced the quota of Bangladeshi workers it would allow into the country by 25 per cent.
  • The permitted quota of fee paying students for any course is expected to be extended from 25% to as high as 50%.
1.5(In a system of proportional representation) the minimum number of votes required to elect a candidate.
More example sentences
  • Loosely, though, to be elected a candidate requires a quota of votes.
  • If those second choice candidates reach the required quota, any surplus votes they may have are re-distributed in the same manner.
  • This could see a number of candidates being elected without achieving the quota of votes that has been required in the past.
1.6A person’s share of a particular thing, quality, or attribute: an Irishman with a double ration of blarney and a treble quota of charm


early 17th century: from medieval Latin quota (pars) 'how great (a part)', feminine of quotus, from quot 'how many'.

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