noun pro·por·tion \prə-ˈpr-shən\

: an amount that is a part of a whole

: the relationship that exists between the size, number, or amount of two things

: the correct or appropriate relationship between the size, shape, and position of the different parts of something

Full Definition of PROPORTION

:  harmonious relation of parts to each other or to the whole :  balance, symmetry
a :  proper or equal share <each did her proportion of the work>
b :  quota, percentage
:  the relation of one part to another or to the whole with respect to magnitude, quantity, or degree :  ratio
:  a statement of equality between two ratios in which the first of the four terms divided by the second equals the third divided by the fourth (as in 4/2=10/5) — compare extreme 1b, mean 1c
in proportion
:  proportional 1

Examples of PROPORTION

  1. His ears were drawn out of proportion with his head.
  2. The size of the window seems out of proportion with the height of the wall.


Middle English proporcion, from Anglo-French, from Latin proportion-, proportio, from pro for + portion-, portio portion — more at for
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms

abscissa, denominator, divisor, equilateral, exponent, hypotenuse, logarithm, oblique, radii, rhomb


pro·por·tionedpro·por·tion·ing \-sh(ə-)niŋ\

Definition of PROPORTION

transitive verb
:  to adjust (a part or thing) in size relative to other parts or things
:  to make the parts of harmonious or symmetrical

First Known Use of PROPORTION

14th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: proportionablePrevious Word in the Dictionary: ProponticAll Words Near: proportion
May 27, 2015
riot act Hear it
a vigorous reprimand or warning
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears