per·​cent | \ pər-ˈsent How to pronounce percent (audio) \

Definition of percent

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: in the hundred : of each hundred


plural percent or percents

Definition of percent (Entry 2 of 3)

1 plural percent

a : one part in a hundred
b : percentage a large percent of their income
2 percents plural, British : securities bearing a specified rate of interest



Definition of percent (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : reckoned on the basis of a whole divided into 100 parts
2 : paying interest at a specified percent

Examples of percent in a Sentence


The value has increased half a percent.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Thompson also held the line on spending, asking for zero percent increases for several years. Steven Goode,, "Bloomfield Superintendent of Schools James Thompson will be named to top state education post, sources say," 10 July 2019 Twenty-two percent more Americans tuned into the final between the U.S. and the Netherlands than watched the men's final in 2018, according to Fox Sports. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "The U.S. Women's National Team's next goal: Equal pay," 9 July 2019 An ABC News/Washington Post poll this week found that only 37 percent support launching impeachment proceedings against Trump, versus 59 percent opposed. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Tom Steyer — please, don’t run for president," 9 July 2019 Fifty-three percent disapprove of Trump’s performance. Leada Gore |,, "Trump approval rating reaches highest point of his presidency," 9 July 2019 His better chance to emerge may come in September, when the DNC is requiring candidates to have 130,000 individual donors and to hit at least 2 percent in the polls in the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Donors love Pete Buttigieg. Voters aren't sure.," 9 July 2019 The less energetic electrons reflect off the boundary between the metal and the superconductor, making the system's conductance more than 100 percent but less than doubled. Rachel Crowell, Scientific American, "Quirky Quantum Tunneling Observed," 9 July 2019 The median household income here is at least 18 percent higher. Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards, The Mercury News, "Editorial: Do Democrats want to score points or defeat Trump?," 8 July 2019 Bumping the working-age employment rate up to 75 percent would do more to change the share of the population working than 75 million immigrants and their progeny would. Steven Camarota, National Review, "Immigration Is No Fix for an Aging Society," 8 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

There is a 20 or so percent chance of isolated showers but nothing that will be a washout. Doug Phillips,, "Summer already? Feels like it," 27 Apr. 2017

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


1568, in the meaning defined above


1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for percent


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

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Time Traveler for percent

The first known use of percent was in 1568

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English Language Learners Definition of percent

: one part in a hundred : an amount that is equal to one one-hundredth of something
: a part of a whole
per·​cent | \ pər-ˈsent How to pronounce percent (audio) \

Kids Definition of percent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: out of every hundred : measured by the number of units as compared with one hundred a 15 percent raise My rent was raised 15 percent.


plural percent

Kids Definition of percent (Entry 2 of 2)

: a part or fraction of a whole expressed in hundredths Ten percent of the class failed the test.

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More from Merriam-Webster on percent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with percent

Spanish Central: Translation of percent

Nglish: Translation of percent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of percent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on percent

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


to complain fretfully

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