from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A portable case for holding material, such as loose papers, photographs, or drawings.
- n. The materials collected in such a case, especially when representative of a person's work: a photographer's portfolio; an artist's portfolio of drawings.
- n. The office or post of a cabinet member or minister of state.
- n. A group of investments held by an investor, investment company, or financial institution.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A case for carrying papers, drawings, photographs, maps and other flat documents.
- n. The collection of such documents, especially the works of an artist or photographer.
- n. The post and the responsibilities of a cabinet minister or other head of a government department.
- n. The group of investments and other assets held by an investor.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A portable case for holding loose papers, prints, drawings, etc.
- n. Hence: The office and functions of a minister of state or member of the cabinet
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. 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.
- n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a list of the financial assets held by an individual or a bank or other financial institution
- n. the role of the head of a government department
- n. a large, flat, thin case for carrying loose papers or drawings or maps; usually leather
- n. a set of pieces of creative work collected to be shown to potential customers or employers
Italian portafoglio : porta-, from portare, to carry, from Latin portāre; see per-2 in Indo-European roots + foglio, sheet (from Latin folium, leaf; see bhel-3 in Indo-European roots).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)