per·​cent·​age | \pər-ˈsen-tij \

Definition of percentage 

1a : a part of a whole expressed in hundredths a high percentage of students attended

b : the result obtained by multiplying a number by a percent the percentage equals the rate times the base

2a : a share of winnings or profits

b : advantage, profit no percentage in going around looking like an old sack of laundry— Wallace Stegner

3 : an indeterminate part : proportion

4a : probability

b : favorable odds

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Synonyms for percentage


chance, odds, probability

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Examples of percentage in a Sentence

If a goalie saves 96 out of 100 shots, his save percentage is 96 percent. The percentages of women completing high school and college were 95 percent and 52 percent, respectively. What percentage of your income do you spend on rent?
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Recent Examples on the Web

Drivers also acknowledge that because the ride prices are often so low—sometimes a percentage like 18 percent won’t amount to enough. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "You're Probably Not Tipping Your Uber Driver Enough," 12 Dec. 2018 The longer this drags on, the greater a percentage of his obituary will be devoted to this, and not to his impressive professional accomplishments. Alexandra Olson, The Seattle Times, "With new board in place, CBS to decide Moonves’ exit pay," 12 Dec. 2018 The percentage of family caregivers—unpaid relatives or friends—living in rural areas fell to 16% in 2015 from 31% in 2009, according to reports by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP Public Policy Institute. Clare Ansberry, WSJ, "For Elderly in Rural Areas, Volunteers Step In," 10 Dec. 2018 Even during peak operations that percentage rises to just half. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How a Small CubeSat Became the Unlikely Hero of the InSight Landing," 29 Nov. 2018 Adam's lecture must have resonated with people at home and in the audience, because DeAndre was saved from elimination by a staggering percentage of votes. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Adam Levine Gave a Heated Speech About 'The Voice' Results: 'I'm Really, Really Shocked'," 28 Nov. 2018 What’s left among Microsoft’s list of PC deals this year are generally less-expensive notebooks and desktops with hefty percentage discounts amounting to a couple of hundred dollars or so. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Cyber Monday laptop deals are going fast—here are the best we found," 26 Nov. 2018 That percentage has fallen from 14.3 percent in fiscal year 2016. Chicago Tribune,, "Indiana collected less corporate taxes in fiscal year 2018," 13 July 2018 Renfroe’s on-base percentage has fallen 14 points in the past five games and, at .315, is still 84 points higher than at this time last season. Kevin Acee,, "Padres try to find power balance," 9 July 2018

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

1757, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for percentage

The first known use of percentage was in 1757

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English Language Learners Definition of percentage

: a number or rate that is expressed as a certain number of parts of something divided into 100 parts

: a part of a whole

: a part or share of the profit earned when something is sold


per·​cent·​age | \pər-ˈsen-tij \

Kids Definition of percentage

1 : a part of a whole expressed in hundredths

2 : a share of profits

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Comments on percentage

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