1 of 3


per·​cent pər-ˈsent How to pronounce percent (audio)
US percent or chiefly British per cent plural percent
: one part in a hundred
We provided 100 percent [=100%] of the labor.
I spend about 50 percent of my workday in meetings.
: percentage
A large percent of their income is used to pay rent.
percents plural, British : securities bearing a specified rate of interest
We invested in 3 percents.


2 of 3


: reckoned on the basis of a whole divided into 100 parts
There was a 20 percent [=20%] increase in orders.
The manufacturer hopes to achieve a 10 percent decrease in carbon dioxide emissions.
: paying interest at a specified percent
a 4 percent government bond


3 of 3


: in the hundred : of each hundred
The defendant was found 40 percent at fault.
I agreed with their suggestions one hundred percent.

Examples of percent in a Sentence

Noun The value has increased half a percent.
Recent Examples on the Web
Only 47 percent of 412 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes approved of the film, a figure that marked a low point for Marvel films at the time of its November 2021 release. Tommy McArdle, Peoplemag, 7 Feb. 2024 As far as complete artists’ catalogs, Killer Mike’s catalog streams jumped 458 percent (about 1.56 million streams), while Andre 3000’s spiked 421 percent (1.04 million). Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 7 Feb. 2024 Spending averaged 27 percent of GDP from 1953 to 1962 and 36 percent for the last ten years, a one-third increase in its share of the economy. Douglas Carr, National Review, 7 Feb. 2024 For his career, when trailing in a one-possession game with under five minutes remaining, Tagovailoa is 53 of 89 (59.6 percent) for 601 yards (6.8 yards per attempt) with six touchdowns, four interceptions and a passer rating of 83.6. Barry Jackson, Miami Herald, 7 Feb. 2024 As for the green goods, the company offers pre-rolls and flowers indica and sativa strains with 20 percent THC to a hybrid with 39 percent THC. Danielle Directo-Meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Feb. 2024 The index declined about 7 percent in the past year and was flat over the past 30 days. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 7 Feb. 2024 Data disclosed by 30 local governments show that between 0.73 percent and 1.1 percent of China’s population—perhaps as many as 15 million people—serve as informants. Minxin Pei, Foreign Affairs, 6 Feb. 2024 Reuters previously reported that licensing deals like this can carry royalty fees of between 15 and 20 percent of sales, which need to be paid alongside platform fees like Apple’s up to 30 percent commission. Jon Porter, The Verge, 6 Feb. 2024
There is a 20 or so percent chance of isolated showers but nothing that will be a washout. Doug Phillips,, 27 Apr. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'percent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



earlier per cent, from per + Latin centum hundred — more at hundred

First Known Use


1721, in the meaning defined at sense 1b


1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1568, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of percent was in 1568

Dictionary Entries Near percent

Cite this Entry

“Percent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 adverb
per·​cent pər-ˈsent How to pronounce percent (audio)
: in the hundred : of each hundred


2 of 3 adjective
: measured or counted on the basis of a whole divided into one hundred parts
a five percent increase


3 of 3 noun
plural percent or percents
: one part in a hundred : hundredth
50 percent of the students
: percentage sense 1
a large percent of her allowance

More from Merriam-Webster on percent

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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