Definition of quota in English:

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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.
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'.

Words that rhyme with quota

bloater, boater, Botha, Dakota, doter, emoter, floater, gloater, iota, Kota, Minnesota, motor, promoter, rota, rotor, scoter, voter

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: quo·ta

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