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

Noun The value has increased half a percent.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Natural-language processing tools, for example, have been shown to accurately analyze the text of social media posts only 70 to 80 percent of the time. Allie Funk, Wired, "Iran Tensions Increase Social Media Surveillance at the US Border," 9 Jan. 2020 Dominion has disputed the findings of a 2018 door-to-door study by the Friends of Buckingham concluding that more than 80 percent of people around the compressor site identified as minorities and were predominantly black. NBC News, "Environmental activists in Virginia declare 'major victory' in pipeline station battle," 8 Jan. 2020 There are rain chances up to 90 percent for areas along the Interstate 45/Texas 288 corridor, while chances of up to 80 percent exist east and west of the area until noon. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Fog, rain make way for beautiful weekend in Houston," 2 Jan. 2020 More than 80 percent of fruit and vegetables en route to the U.S. passes through Sinaloa, and the highway would cut travel time by four to six hours, shaving $500 to $1,500 off the cost per truckload., "Fair pay a distant dream for produce packers in Rio Grande Valley," 28 Dec. 2019 About 80 percent of those hospitalized in the EVALI outbreak reported vaping THC (the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana), and the lung damage in those patients resembled that caused by chemical burns. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "Vaping May Increase the Risk of Chronic Respiratory Disease," 20 Dec. 2019 Overall, death sentences are down more than 80 percent from the 1990s, Dunham said. CBS News, "Trend toward fewer U.S. executions facing potential obstacles," 17 Dec. 2019 Joyner has played at least 80 percent of snaps, however, in 8 of his 11 games this season. Matt Kawahara,, "Raiders’ safety dance continues with Lamarcus Joyner set at nickel," 13 Dec. 2019 Matt, meanwhile, was reportedly taken to a different hospital in Christchurch with burns covering about 80 percent of his body. Rachel Desantis,, "N.Z. Volcano Eruption Survivors Suffer Extensive Burns: ‘It's Possible’ Not All ‘Will Survive’," 10 Dec. 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

Time Traveler

The first known use of percent was in 1568

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Statistics for percent

Cite this Entry

“Percent.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for percent



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

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