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[kwoh-tuh] /ˈkwoʊ tə/
the share or proportional part of a total that is required from, or is due or belongs to, a particular district, state, person, group, etc.
a proportional part or share of a fixed total amount or quantity.
the number or percentage of persons of a specified kind permitted to enroll in a college, join a club, immigrate to a country, etc.
1660-70; < Medieval Latin, short for Latin quota pars how great a part?
1. allotment, apportionment, allocation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for quotas
  • They have put annual restrictions on total catch both at the fishery and vessel levels, ending seasons once the quotas are met.
  • Yet another government bureaucracy was born to enforce the quotas.
  • Regulatory bodies have failed to set sufficiently strict catch quotas, and illegal fishing is rampant.
  • quotas on the fishermen remain the chief mechanism to react to dwindling stocks.
  • Research conducted improperly is better left undone, regardless of any publication quotas that may apply.
  • Many years ago when only sugar was produced the market agreed on quotas for the different producers.
  • They set official quotas, then everyone goes on to ignore them.
  • The government guarantees producers a fixed price for domestic sugar and sets strict quotas and tariffs for foreign sugar.
  • To me, the economic incentives or disincentives of fossil fuel consumption is more important than quotas and promises.
  • Legals should apply freely, within reasonably laid out annual quotas.
British Dictionary definitions for quotas


the proportional share or part of a whole that is due from, due to, or allocated to a person or group
a prescribed number or quantity, as of items to be manufactured, imported, or exported, immigrants admitted to a country, or students admitted to a college
Word Origin
C17: from Latin quota pars how big a share?, from quotus of what number
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
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Word Origin and History for quotas



1660s, from Medieval Latin quota, from Latin quota pars "how large a part," from quota, fem. singular of quotus "which, what number (in sequence);" see quote (v.). Earliest reference is to contributions of soldiers or supplies levied from a town or district; immigration sense is from 1921.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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