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 The new rules for venues that can accommodate 5,000-plus people allow for up to 12 percent of their regular occupancy limits., "South Boston convention center to host its first big pandemic-era event in May, bringing thousands for volleyball competition," 26 Mar. 2021 Everything else on the site is 25 percent off between November 26 to 30, although a few special sets are up to 35 percent off. Sarah Han, Allure, "14 Cyber Monday Deals on Giftable Beauty Sets for Everyone on Your List," 30 Nov. 2020 Target’s massive Black Friday electronics sale includes up to 30 percent off of TVs and home theater accessories with savings expected through the weekend and new additions for Cyber Monday. NBC News, "Cyber Monday TV deals 2020: Shop best TV deals and sales," 28 Nov. 2020 Strathberry bags have achieved that feat and several of the Scottish brand's pieces are on a very rare sale right now—with some items up to 50 percent off. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Katie Holmes Stepped Out With the Bag Meghan Markle Made Famous—and It's On Sale Now," 8 Nov. 2020 The deepest discount is on Apple AirPods, which are currently up to 20 percent off. Caroline Harris, Travel + Leisure, "The Best Apple Deals to Shop This Amazon Prime Day — Including $50 Off the AirPods Pro," 13 Oct. 2020 Those looking for a large tech upgrade like a new laptop or desktop computer can get the MacBook Pro with 1TB of storage and 27-inch iMac for up to 15 percent off. Nina Huang,, "AirPods are at their lowest prices ever for Amazon Prime Day — plus more amazing Apple deals," 13 Oct. 2020 But the discounts are tangible: up to 7 percent off from Microsoft, including Xbox games; 10 percent rebates at Verizon, plus rebates at Nvidia, Newegg, Best Buy, Woot!, Staples, and more. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Every day is Amazon Prime Day with Microsoft Bing Rebates," 6 Oct. 2020 Deals start at just $8 and come with discounts that are up to 46 percent off. Jessica Leigh Mattern,, "Only Amazon Prime Members Can Score These Limited-Time Deals That Start at $8," 19 Sep. 2020 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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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


adjective or adverb
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.

More from Merriam-Webster on percent

Nglish: Translation of percent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of percent for Arabic Speakers

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