[uh-pawr-shuh n-muh nt, uh-pohr-]


the act of apportioning.
the determination of the number of members of the U.S. House of Representatives according to the proportion of the population of each state to the total population of the U.S.
the apportioning of members of any other legislative body.

Origin of apportionment

First recorded in 1620–30; apportion + -ment
Related formsnon·ap·por·tion·ment, nounpro·ap·por·tion·ment, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for apportionment

allocation, division, portion, appropriation, partition

Examples from the Web for apportionment

Contemporary Examples of apportionment

  • Had such an apportionment been in place in 2000, Al Gore would have won the electoral college vote and become president.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Democrats Shocked by Democratic Idea

    David Frum

    February 4, 2013

Historical Examples of apportionment

British Dictionary definitions for apportionment



the act of apportioning
US government the proportional distribution of the seats in a legislative body, esp the House of Representatives, on the basis of population
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for apportionment

1620s, from apportion + -ment. Perhaps influenced by French apportionnement.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

apportionment in Culture


The allocation of seats in a legislature or of taxes according to a plan. In the United States Congress, for example, the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives is based on the relative population of each state, whereas the apportionment in the Senate is based on equal representation for every state. (See also gerrymander.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.