Definition of quota in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkwəʊtə/


1A limited or fixed number or amount of people or things, in particular:
allocation, share, allowance, limit, ration, portion, apportionment, assignment, dispensation, slice, slice of the cake;
percentage, commission, measure, proportion, part, piece, fraction, division, subdivision, bit, amount, number, range, quantity
informal cut, whack, rake-off
1.1A limited quantity of a particular product which 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: they were arrested to help fill the quota of arrests the security police had to make during the crackdown
More example sentences
  • The police have to fill a daily quota of arrests, so they seize people at random.
  • When the Germans attacked, there should have been enough of these guns for every division to receive its quota, but many of them were so recently out of the factories that they had not yet all been distributed to the armies.
  • ‘The police [apparently] had a quota to fill,’ Choi said of her arrest.
1.3A fixed minimum or maximum number of a particular group of people allowed to do something, e.g. immigrants to enter a country, workers to undertake a job, or students to enrol for a course: the removal of entry quotas encouraged young people to enter universities
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%.
1.4(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.
1.5 (also diocesan quota) (In the Anglican Church) the proportion of the funds of a parish contributed to the finances of the diocese.
Example sentences
  • London's Lord Mayor and aldermen were again commanded to a levy: and they responded by locking the doors on their packed parish churches until their quotas were filled.
  • The quota that the parish of St Patrick's Church had to meet has been reached and now whatever else the parish can make will be coming back into parish.


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

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