[pawrt-foh-lee-oh, pohrt-] /pɔrtˈfoʊ liˌoʊ, poʊrt-/

noun, plural portfolios.
a flat, portable case for carrying loose papers, drawings, etc.
such a case for carrying documents of a government department.
the total holdings of the securities, commercial paper, etc., of a financial institution or private investor.
the office or post of a minister of state or member of a cabinet.
noun (pl) -os
a flat case, esp of leather, used for carrying maps, drawings, etc
the contents of such a case, such as drawings, paintings, or photographs, that demonstrate recent work: an art student’s portfolio
such a case used for carrying ministerial or state papers
the responsibilities or role of the head of a government department: the portfolio for foreign affairs
Minister without portfolio, a cabinet minister who is not responsible for any government department
the complete investments held by an individual investor or by a financial organization

1722, porto folio; 1719 as port folio, from Italian portafoglio “a case for carrying loose papers,” from porta, imperative of portare “to carry” (see port (n.1)) + foglio “sheet, leaf,” from Latin folium (see folio). Meaning “official documents of a state department” is from 1835. A minister without portfolio is one not in charge of a particular department. Meaning “collection of securities held” is from 1930; portfolio investment is from 1955.


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