I'm a software engineer trying to come up with a word or phrase to describe that relationship in a way that future software engineers can look at the code I've written and either understand what's going on quickly or be a Google search away.

Aliquot - a portion of a larger whole, especially a sample taken for chemical analysis or other treatment

Where I work, batches have many aliquots associated with them.

Another way would be to say "a marble can only be a member of a grouping one time".

  • I don't understand what you mean by, "an aliquot can only be a member of a batch one time”. Is there some way that it could be a member more than one time? Are you defining or describing? Feb 24, 2021 at 0:23
  • No, and maybe I'm doing some of both? Processes get run on aliquots, so that what was there is considered a completely new/different aliquot, when a process is complete. Feb 24, 2021 at 0:34
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    Perhaps "aliquots are batch-specific" (or "an aliquot is batch-specific"), or, as a modifier-noun phrase, "a batch-specific aliquot".
    – JEL
    Feb 24, 2021 at 5:24
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    When you say "batches have many aliquots associated with them" are the batches physical production batches such as batches of drugs, food or paint or are they batch runs on a computer. That is are they batches within the computer system or batches within the business model that the computer system is modelling?
    – BoldBen
    Feb 24, 2021 at 8:08
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    This seems like saying 'A plum taken from a plum pudding will never be taken from a later pudding.' Plums are non-recyclable. Aliquots are perishables. Jul 28, 2021 at 11:41

4 Answers 4


So, If I understand you, a batch has many aliquots, but each aliquot is a member of only one group. Is that correct?

That would be a "one to many relationship"

Or do you mean something different?

  • Yeah, that's close, but I'm not sure that captures the "I can't use this aliquot again in any other batch". The way I understand this "one to many" is that "one batch can have many aliquots". In this case, I also want to make it clear that "one aliquot can only be part of one batch at all" vs "one aliquot may be part of multiple batches". Feb 24, 2021 at 19:29
  • If this refers to a comment within your code, perhaps something very similar to what you said, e.g. An aliquot is a part of one and only one batch. I would favor clarity over length.
    – DjinTonic
    Jul 28, 2021 at 13:14

A friend of mine suggested "single-batch aliquot", which is the best phrase I've seen so far.


If "One aliquot can only be part of one batch at all" then the description would be "One aliquaot can only come from one single batch.

An aliquot may be sampled from or used in one batch only. "An aliquot can only be taken or sampled from a batch once." or "An aliquot can only be used in a batch once."

An aliquot is contained an exact number of times in a group or batch or collection. Such as one of a dozen. You can have two eggs of a dozen but not 1.75 of them. Having divided the quantity you can only choose a discreet number of them, a number of aliquots. For your use you are restricting the choice to only one aliquot of the collection. 1/12 or 1/X not three or four of the batch.

Since you are referring to batches of chemicals from which you take samples the discrete number part of aliquot may not apply though the word is still used. A sample taken may not be quite an exact quantity. What you are trying to capture is the idea that the sample's nature includes where it is from and where it goes, what it might become after some process is used. Which of these two it is doing is unclear.

"One aliquot can only be part of one batch at all" vs "One aliquot may be part of multiple batches"

This depends on where each is going to or coming from. "One aliquot can only be added to one batch ever" or "One aliquot can only be taken as a sample from one batch ever"

If you could fill in a bit more detail I'm sure the answer would pop up here shortly. Apart from that I would say "An aliquot can only be taken or sampled from a batch once." or "An aliquot can only be used in a batch once."

  • I'm not sure I'm completely understand, but my guess is that you're saying is that what I'm saying is ambiguous and, for you, the choices seem to be: 1. "One aliquot can only be part of one batch at all" 2. "One aliquot may be part of multiple batches" I'm trying to get a short phrase or word to describe the first. Feb 26, 2021 at 19:48

Aliquots are grouped in batches.

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