dis·​pro·​por·​tion | \ˌdis-prə-ˈpȯr-shən \

Definition of disproportion 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: lack of proportion, symmetry, or proper relation : disparity also : an instance of such disparity



Definition of disproportion (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make out of proportion : mismatch

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from disproportion


disproportional \ -​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of disproportion in a Sentence


His salary is in disproportion to what people who have similar jobs earn.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The disproportion is similar at other high-achieving New York City schools where admission is determined by an achievement test. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Progressive Education Today," 6 June 2018 Morton cited the disproportion number of black children in foster care and the juvenile justice system as factors. Kate Santich, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Count of Central Florida's homeless youth reveals 'hidden' population," 10 Apr. 2018 Though warrior women Bravely walk the walk, Derivatives of disproportionDraw heinous hypocrites To their flock. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "So … Sean Penn Wrote a #MeToo Poem," 27 Mar. 2018 There are plenty more questions to be answered—about the genetics of fetopelvic disproportion risk, the role that neonatal care might play in helping smaller babies to survive, and whether other data sets show the same increase in risk. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "C-sections might be relaxing the evolutionary pressure against big babies," 18 Oct. 2017 If women are at best no more productive than men, a faculty-level gender disparity might be an efficient outcome, albeit one tilted by the disproportion in the pool of undergraduates. The Economist, "Women and economics," 16 Dec. 2017 Over the history of Tasers in Chicago, their use has been marked by the same racial disparity seen in other elements of policing in the city, as cops have inflicted shocks in vast disproportion to African-Americans in poor and violent areas. Dan Hinkel, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago cops get more Tasers, but red flags remain," 25 Aug. 2017 The disproportion between their personal feelings and the wanton destruction of real estate and innocent life is both comical and horrific, and also oddly persuasive. Kathryn Shattuck, New York Times, "What’s on TV Tuesday: ‘Colossal’ and ‘Frontline: Life on Parole’," 18 July 2017 Thereby whites can even feel a little less guilty about racism, disproportions of wealth, and the homeless. Norman Mailer, Daily Intelligencer, "Black and White Justice," 30 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disproportion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of disproportion


1555, in the meaning defined above


1593, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about disproportion

Share disproportion

Statistics for disproportion

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disproportion

The first known use of disproportion was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for disproportion



English Language Learners Definition of disproportion

: a difference that is not fair, reasonable, or expected


dis·​pro·​por·​tion | \ˌdis-prə-ˈpȯr-shən \

Kids Definition of disproportion

: a marked difference in the size, number, or amount of something as compared to another thing There is a disproportion of boys to girls in the class.


dis·​pro·​por·​tion | \ˌdis-prə-ˈpōr-shən, -ˈpȯr- \

Medical Definition of disproportion 

: absence of symmetry or the proper dimensional relationship a disproportion between the large head and the average-size body — see cephalopelvic disproportion

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on disproportion

What made you want to look up disproportion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!