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ration

[rash-uh n, rey-shuh n] /ˈræʃ ən, ˈreɪ ʃən/
noun
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.
3.
rations.
  1. provisions:
    Enough rations were brought along to feed all the marchers.
  2. Chiefly South Atlantic States. food or meals:
    The old hotel still has the best rations in town.
verb (used with object)
4.
to supply, apportion, or distribute as rations (often followed by out):
to ration out food to an army.
5.
to supply or provide with rations:
to ration an army with food.
6.
to restrict the consumption of (a commodity, food, etc.):
to ration meat during war.
7.
to restrict the consumption of (a consumer):
The civilian population was rationed while the war lasted.
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; < French < Latin ratiōn- (stem of ratiō); see reason
Related forms
unrationed, adjective
Synonyms
1, 2. portion, allotment. 1, 3. See food. 4. mete, dole, allot.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for rationing
  • These type of articles are preparing the public for healthcare rationing.
  • Shortages of key cancer drugs is leading to rationing and hardship for patients.
  • To make sure there were enough vital materials, such as rubber and oil, the government started rationing.
  • Moderate rationing might be a prudent way to control costs.
  • Even my parents did the unthinkable and began rationing hay.
  • rationing, long queues, bad tempers and violence have become commonplace at filling stations.
  • Subsequently bureaucrats, their pensions happily financed by such taxes, could prepare carefully graded rationing schemes.
  • For the time being they are rationing business visas.
  • Second, electricity rationing may keep output depressed for longer than originally anticipated.
  • So they did for the hydro-power companies, which were within days of enforced electricity rationing.
British Dictionary definitions for rationing

ration

/ˈræʃən/
noun
1.
  1. 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
  2. (as modifier): a ration book
2.
a sufficient or adequate amount: you've had your ration of television for today
verb (transitive)
3.
(often foll by out) to distribute (provisions), esp to an army
4.
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
See also rations
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for rationing
n.

"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.

ration

n.

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.

v.

"put (someone) on a fixed allowance," 1859, from ration (n.); sense of "apportion in fixed amounts" is from 1870. Related: Rationed; rationing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rationing in Culture

rationing definition


A regulated allocation of resources among possible users.

Note: The U.S. government has engaged in rationing usually only under conditions of extreme shortage or economic hardship; certain resources were rationed, for example, during World War II.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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