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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for percentage


chance, odds, probability

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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?
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Low percentage of women in computer science is 'cultural' In 2017, 26 percent of the computing workforce were women, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT). Billy Kobin, Indianapolis Star, "Rose-Hulman professor hopes to get more girls in STEM by studying the Irish," 10 July 2018 According to Stats LLC, that .622 difference in winning percentage is on pace for the biggest since 1912. Paul Sullivan,, "Nationals spinning out of control under rookie manager Dave Martinez," 7 July 2018 The Orioles have a much better .273 winning percentage this season, which projects to a heady 44 victories by the time this season mercifully ends Sept. 30. Peter Schmuck,, "Schmuck: With Ravens waiting in the wings, this is perfect year to punt early on the Orioles," 7 July 2018 Their 17 wins rank third in baseball, behind Seattle (26-11) and Milwaukee (18-11), and their .708 winning percentage in one-run games is the best in baseball. Bob Brookover,, "Some Orioles would look good in Phillies' red pinstripes | Extra Innings," 3 July 2018 According to Hirdt, winning percentage has been the defining category in baseball’s standings dating to the late 19th century. David Waldstein, New York Times, "The Yankees Are in First Place. Or Second Place. Either Way, They Beat the Rays.," 14 June 2018 To put it another way, Democrats in both presidential and state elections have had to rely in Iowa (as in other Upper Midwestern states) on winning a relatively high percentage of the white vote. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Iowa Could Be 2018’s Bellwether for Democrats," 6 June 2018 Kowar entered the night 9-4 this season and with the best winning percentage in school history (24-5, .828). Edgar Thompson,, "Pitcher Jackson Kowar, Gators collapse during 7-4 loss FAU in Gainesville Regional," 5 June 2018 More broadly, Trump’s indignation that the U.S. spends a higher percentage of its GDP on defense than European countries is difficult to understand. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump at NATO Summit: Germany Is ‘Captive to Russia’," 11 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.

See More

First Known Use of percentage

1757, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about percentage

Share percentage

Phrases Related to percentage

no percentage

Statistics for percentage

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for percentage

The first known use of percentage was in 1757

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for percentage



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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on percentage

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


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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