per·​cent·​age | \ pər-ˈsen-tij How to pronounce percentage (audio) \

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
b : favorable odds

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Synonyms for percentage


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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 The percentage of positive tests remained steady at about 10% among people who tested positive for the first time across the state, for the previous day. Marc Freeman,, "Florida’s COVID-19 death toll tops 8,200, cases trending higher again," 8 Aug. 2020 Over the past decade, Vatican News reported that the total number and percentage of women working in the Vatican has grown. Fox News, "Pope Francis names six women to Vatican council in historic shift," 8 Aug. 2020 His strikeout percentage has dropped from 30.2% to 18.9% since last year. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Matthew Boyd struggled yet again. Here's what his setback means for Detroit Tigers," 8 Aug. 2020 Letting the grass seed dry out during the first couple of weeks can greatly reduce the percentage of germination. Tim Johnson,, "Grass seed failing to sprout? Your lawn might need some TLC to get grass to grow," 8 Aug. 2020 Response rates show the percentage of residents that have filled out the population survey online. Joshua Bowling, The Arizona Republic, "As census deadline approaches, some fear COVID-19 and limited outreach could cost funding, representation," 8 Aug. 2020 The Lakers also have the two worst field-goal percentage games in the bubble through Thursday, as well as the two worst 3-point shooting games. Tim Reynolds, Star Tribune, "Lakers not exactly rolling along as playoffs approach," 7 Aug. 2020 Despite talk of a gig economy, the percentage of the U.S. labor force working for companies with more than 5,000 employees has swollen to a record 34%, from 29% in 1987. David Meyer, Fortune, "Is the COVID crisis busting business bureaucracy?," 7 Aug. 2020 State epidemiologist Jennifer Dillaha said only about half the people in Arkansas who should get the flu shot end up getting it each year -- a percentage the Department of Health hopes to increase this year. Andy Davis, Arkansas Online, "Flu shots stressed this year; virus cases rise 735," 7 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for percentage

Time Traveler

The first known use of percentage was in 1757

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Statistics for percentage

Last Updated

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Percentage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce percentage (audio)

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 How to pronounce percentage (audio) \

Kids Definition of percentage

1 : a part of a whole expressed in hundredths
2 : a share of profits

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