[ rash-uhn, rey-shuhn ]
See synonyms for: rationrationedrationingrations on Thesaurus.com

  1. 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.

  2. an allotted amount: They finally saved up enough gas rations for the trip.

  1. rations,

    • 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.

verb (used with object)
  1. to supply, apportion, or distribute as rations (often followed by out): to ration out food to an army.

  2. to supply or provide with rations: to ration an army with food.

  1. to restrict the consumption of (a commodity, food, etc.): to ration meat during war.

  2. to restrict the consumption of (a consumer): The civilian population was rationed while the war lasted.

Origin of ration

First recorded in 1540–50; from French, from Latin ratiōn- (stem of ratiō); see reason

synonym study For ration

1, 3. See food.

Other words for ration

Other words from ration

  • un·ra·tioned, adjective

Words Nearby ration

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ration in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ration


/ (ˈræʃən) /

    • a fixed allowance of food, provisions, etc, esp a statutory one for civilians in time of scarcity or soldiers in time of war: a tea ration

    • (as modifier): a ration book

  1. a sufficient or adequate amount: you've had your ration of television for today

  1. (often foll by out) to distribute (provisions), esp to an army

  2. 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

Origin of ration

C18: via French from Latin ratiō calculation; see reason

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