dis·​pro·​por·​tion·​ate | \ ˌdis-prə-ˈpȯr-sh(ə-)nət How to pronounce disproportionate (audio) \

Definition of disproportionate

: being out of proportion a disproportionate share

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from disproportionate

disproportionately adverb

Examples of disproportionate in a Sentence

He believes that middle-class people bear a disproportionate share of the tax burden. A disproportionate number of the students are poor.

Recent Examples on the Web

Stuttgart's authorities turning on Porsche at a critical time for the company, and placing the blame for alleged disproportionate payments solely on Porsche and not the recipient, proves yet again that times have really changed for German companies. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, "Porsche CEO's Office Raided by German Prosecutors," 29 May 2019 Because of African-Americans’s disproportionate representation in prison populations in the U.S., in 2016 7.44% of them could not vote due to felony convictions. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "AOC Backed Up Bernie Sanders on Voting Rights for People With Felony Convictions," 26 Apr. 2019 Yet the numbers continue to be disproportionate despite the best efforts of the Fritz Pollard Alliance. Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "Fearless Predictions For the 2018 NFL Season," 9 Feb. 2018 This country’s contributions to music are disproportionate to its small size and extend well beyond ABBA’s cheery pop and the indie cool of bands like Peter, Bjorn and John. Vogue, "Cherrie Is a Somali-Swedish R&B Queen with Style and Substance," 5 Feb. 2018 But the fact remains: More than 4,000 women die of cervical cancer each year, including a disproportionate amount of women of color. Leana Wen, SELF, "Before I Was President of Planned Parenthood, I Was Diagnosed With Cervical Cancer at a Routine Screening," 28 Jan. 2019 In its review of 20,000 news stories related to school lockdowns, The Post discovered a disproportionate amount of coverage focused on districts outside large cities. John Woodrow Cox, The Seattle Times, "Numerous school lockdowns are traumatizing the nation’s children," 26 Dec. 2018 The eight schools, which have a single test for admissions, have a disproportionate number of Asian students, and few black and Latino ones. David W. Chen, New York Times, "‘A Huge Blind Spot’: Why New York Asians Feel Overlooked," 4 July 2018 Human rights groups identified 121 people killed and accused Israel of committing war crimes by allegedly using disproportionate or indiscriminate force and failing to distinguish between civilians and combatants. Josef Federman, Fox News, "Israel: No criminal action in deadly Gaza 2014 war incident," 15 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disproportionate.' 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 disproportionate

1555, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about disproportionate

Statistics for disproportionate

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disproportionate

The first known use of disproportionate was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for disproportionate



English Language Learners Definition of disproportionate

: having or showing a difference that is not fair, reasonable, or expected : too large or too small in relation to something

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on disproportionate

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


a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!