- 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 rationing
It could be that doctors are rationing health care—refusing to schedule appointments.How Obamacare Helped Crash the Economy
June 25, 2014
Because it has, in the past, been a tool of racism and colonialism, and in the present, is a means of rationing health care.Were Christians Right About Gay Marriage All Along?
May 27, 2014
And the Republican attacks on the health-care bill are replete with paranoia about rationing and death panels.The Right-Wing Backlash Against John Roberts
July 3, 2012
Meanwhile, horror stories about the rationing of cancer care by the American insurance industry abound.The Latest Health Care Lie
August 31, 2009
Another charge about keeping outcomes data is that it will lead to rationing.Return of the Health Care Villains
March 18, 2009
There is scarcely any meat but horse-meat, and the government is now rationing.Christmas: Its Origin and Associations
William Francis Dawson
At present, it is only attached to my command for convenience of rationing and pay.Under Wellington's Command
G. A. Henty
"And here's just the man to take charge of rationing the water," said Cooper.Shaman
She's done it simply because I told her to-night that rationing is definitely coming in.The Title
Under the present system of rationing, this demand for moderation does not seem excessive.
- 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 rationing
"restriction to limited allotments," 1865, verbal noun from ration (v.). Specifically of restrictions during wartime from 1917, from conditions in England during World War I.
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.
A regulated allocation of resources among possible users.