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To divide people or things into smaller groups and distribute them to others. A noun or pronoun can be used between "parcel" and "out." We've got a lot of kids to keep track of, so we're going to parcel them out in small groups to be supervised by each of the chaperones. The teacher told Tom to parcel out the cookies to everyone in class.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
parcel someone or something out
Fig. to divide up and send or give away people or things. Carla parceled all the uniforms out so everyone would have one to wear for the parade. We will parcel out the children for the summer.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Divide into parts and distribute, as in She parceled out the remaining candy among the children. This idiom uses parcel in the sense of "divide into small portions." [Mid-1500s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
To divide something into parts or portions for distribution: The teacher parceled out the cookies to the pupils. I parceled the free tickets out to my friends.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.