- a fixed allowance of provisions or food, especially for soldiers or sailors or for civilians during a shortage: a daily ration of meat and bread.
- an allotted amount: They finally saved up enough gas rations for the trip.
- provisions: Enough rations were brought along to feed all the marchers.
- Chiefly South Atlantic States.food or meals: The old hotel still has the best rations in town.
- to supply, apportion, or distribute as rations (often followed by out): to ration out food to an army.
- to supply or provide with rations: to ration an army with food.
- to restrict the consumption of (a commodity, food, etc.): to ration meat during war.
- to restrict the consumption of (a consumer): The civilian population was rationed while the war lasted.
Origin of ration
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rations
Without meat, Sitting Bull gave up his dream of independence and asked the Canadian government for rations.Sitting Bull's Cinco De Mayo
May 6, 2013
They queued at roadside snack stands for rations of peanuts, a holiday tradition.North Korea Lavishly Celebrates Kim Il Sung's Birthday
April 16, 2013
The two posses decided to join forces and set off hauling their rations down the street.Occupy Wall Street Takes on Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts
November 3, 2012
This system means the poorer tributes are more likely to be picked since they need the rations.‘The Hunger Games’ Movie for Dummies
March 14, 2012
Witnesses of the bloodshed said soldiers tried to steal some 290 tons of rations being doled out at a famine refugee camp.Somalia Famine Aid Stolen: U.N.
August 13, 2011
Indents had to be made out for transport, rations and ammunition.The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
To increase their sufferings, rations had to be still further reduced.The Field of Ice
I limited the rations at each meal to a half of one of my cakes for each man.
Stanton took charge of the kettle and dished out the rations that night.
And I'll tell you right now, I'm going to cut your rations one-third, too—hear?The Cruise of the Dry Dock
T. S. Stribling
- (sometimes singular) a fixed daily allowance of food, esp to military personnel or when supplies are limitedSee also iron rations
- a fixed allowance of food, provisions, etc, esp a statutory one for civilians in time of scarcity or soldiers in time of wara tea ration
- (as modifier)a ration book
- a sufficient or adequate amountyou've had your ration of television for today
- (often foll by out) to distribute (provisions), esp to an army
- to restrict the distribution or consumption of (a commodity) by (people)the government has rationed sugar; sugar is short, so I'll have to ration you
Word Origin and History for rations
1550, "reasoning," later, "relation of one number to another" (1660s), then "fixed allowance of food" (1702, often rations, from French ration in this sense), from Latin rationem (nominative ratio) "a reckoning, calculation, proportion" (see ratio). The military pronunciation (rhymes with fashion) took over from the preferred civilian pronunciation (rhymes with nation) during World War I.