- 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 for ration on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ration
This is the relevant passage: And who will suffer the most when they ration care?The Reality of Death Panels
October 31, 2012
That first couple of weeks, before any contact had been made, they survived on what was meant to be a two-day ration of food.Behind Chile's Miracle Mine Rescue
October 9, 2010
My plan was to reduce each man's ration of flower from 7lbs.
When either of us found one in his ration it was divided between us.The Long Labrador Trail
A pint a day was his daily ration, the only nourishment he could digest.L'Assommoir
There was but one-half of one day's ration of grain for the horses.Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman
J. H. (James Harvey) Kidd
On the other hand, the dog's ration for many days is carried on the sled he hauls.Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled
- 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 ration
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.