dis·pro·por·tion·ate | \-sh(ə-)nət \

Definition of disproportionate 

: being out of proportion a disproportionate share

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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

More students are getting extra help for a range of issues including ADHD and anxiety, data show, with a disproportionate amount of those receiving support attending schools in wealthier districts. Tawnell D. Hobbs, WSJ, "More Students Are Getting Special Help in Grades K-12," 3 July 2018 The on-call detectives immediately absorbed those homicides into their caseload which meant they were given a disproportionate amount of cases. Adam Ferrise, cleveland.com, "Cleveland homicide unit needs help and resources, according to study," 21 Apr. 2018 In a news release, Eviction Lab pointed out that large cities receive a disproportionate amount of attention in the affordability crisis. Diana Budds, Curbed, "New data shows how pervasive the U.S.’s eviction epidemic really is," 9 Apr. 2018 Because black kids are already subject to disproportionate rates of school discipline and criminalization, being a foster youth compounds this risk. Rachel Anspach, Teen Vogue, "The Foster Care to Prison Pipeline: What It Is and How It Works," 25 May 2018 Liverpool typically start fast and have scored a disproportionate amount (16) of their 40 goals in the opening third of Champions League games this season. SI.com, "Stats Reveal Where Champions League Final Between Liverpool and Real Madrid Will Be Won and Lost," 25 May 2018 Pass rates were better for white test-takers than for minority test-takers, which led to concerns that the test keeps a disproportionate number of minority potential-teachers out of classrooms. Alan J. Borsuk, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Borsuk: Literacy may not be a constitutional right, but it's a life imperative," 6 July 2018 Image The shift in policy and its disproportionate impact on New Zealanders — along with additional disputes over Australia’s immigration policies — have become a major test for one of the world’s closest bilateral relationships. New York Times, "Why New Zealand Is Furious About Australia’s Deportations Policy," 3 July 2018 Although koalas appear to be plagued by a disproportionate number of environmental and genetic issues, the new genome offers hope to koala conservationists worldwide. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Newly Mapped Koala Genome Unlocks Secrets of Marsupial’s Diet, Susceptibility to Chlamydia," 3 July 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.

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First Known Use of disproportionate

1555, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for disproportionate

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disproportionate

The first known use of disproportionate was in 1555

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on disproportionate

Spanish Central: Translation of disproportionate

Nglish: Translation of disproportionate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disproportionate for Arabic Speakers

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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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