from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A portable case for holding material, such as loose papers, photographs, or drawings.
  • noun The materials collected in such a case, especially when representative of a person's work.
  • noun The office or post of a cabinet member or minister of state.
  • noun A group of investments held by an investor, investment company, or financial institution.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A movable receptacle for detached papers or prints, usually in the form of a complete book-cover with a flexible back, and fastened with strings or clasps.
  • noun Figuratively, the office of a minister of state: as, he holds the portfolio of education (that is, he has charge of the documents, etc., connected with that department); he has received the portfolio of the home department.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A portable case for holding loose papers, prints, drawings, etc.
  • noun Hence: The office and functions of a minister of state or member of the cabinet

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A case for carrying papers, drawings, photographs, maps and other flat documents.
  • noun The collection of such documents, especially the works of an artist or photographer.
  • noun politics The post and the responsibilities of a cabinet minister or other head of a government department.
  • noun The group of investments and other assets held by an investor.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a list of the financial assets held by an individual or a bank or other financial institution
  • noun the role of the head of a government department
  • noun a large, flat, thin case for carrying loose papers or drawings or maps; usually leather
  • noun a set of pieces of creative work collected to be shown to potential customers or employers


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Italian portafoglio : portare, to carry (from Latin portāre; see per- in Indo-European roots) + foglio, sheet (from Latin folium, leaf; see bhel- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Italian portafoglio; cognate with the French portefeuille ("folder, wallet"), from the Latin verb portare ("to carry") and folium ("sheet"). The meaning "collection of responsibilities" came by extension in the 1930s.


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