proclivity

noun
pro·​cliv·​i·​ty | \ prō-ˈkli-və-tē How to pronounce proclivity (audio) \
plural proclivities

Definition of proclivity

: an inclination or predisposition toward something especially : a strong inherent inclination toward something objectionable

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Choose the Right Synonym for proclivity

leaning, propensity, proclivity, penchant mean a strong instinct or liking for something. leaning suggests a liking or attraction not strong enough to be decisive or uncontrollable. a student with artistic leanings propensity implies a deeply ingrained and usually irresistible inclination. a propensity to offer advice proclivity suggests a strong natural proneness usually to something objectionable or evil. a proclivity for violence penchant implies a strongly marked taste in the person or an irresistible attraction in the object. a penchant for taking risks

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Have you always had this leaning toward wanting to know about words and their etymologies? Maybe you even have a propensity to use the featured word several times in the course of the day—due, of course, not to a proclivity for pretentiousness, but because you simply have a penchant for using a rich vocabulary. And perhaps you have a predilection for using lots of synonyms, such as proclivity (from clivus, the Latin word for "slope"), referring to a tendency usually toward something bad; propensity, suggesting an often uncontrollable inclination; penchant, meaning an irresistible attraction; and predilection, which describes a strong liking derived from one's temperament.

Examples of proclivity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Granted, Victoria's family seems to have a general proclivity for matching outfits. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Crown Princess Victoria Takes Her Daughter, Princess Estelle, on a Tour Through the Royal Treasury," 11 Jan. 2019 More even than robots, our most ancient proclivities may be our undoing. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "Social Media Makes Us Soldiers in the War Against Ourselves," 2 May 2018 Lady Gaga is undoubtedly a fashion innovator and boundary-pushing artist whose proclivity for rocking bold and cutting-edge clothing has cemented her place in the fashion industry as a genuine style star. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gaga Looked Ravishing in a Sequined Naked Dress on Jimmy Kimmel Live!," 28 Feb. 2019 McCain's speech referenced the current difficult political climate and called for bipartisanship, highlighting her husband's proclivity to reach across the aisle on certain issues. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Cindy McCain Pays Tribute to Her Late Husband at an Election Rally in Arizona," 6 Nov. 2018 While people of course have different aesthetic proclivities, there are some things that are just pleasing to all of us. Noor Brara, Vogue, "Samin Nosrat Wants Viewers to Cook What They See on Her New Netflix Show, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat," 19 Oct. 2018 His locs are perpetually crisp and manicured, sometimes twisted together — another obvious aesthetic proclivity. Sharine Taylor, Allure, "For These Dancehall Artists, Hair Is Just as Important as the Music," 27 Sep. 2018 Polster has historically shown a proclivity to resolve cases and avoid trials. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Judge trying to settle opioid lawsuits says trials may be possible to overcome hurdles in talks," 11 July 2017 Meanwhile, Cuarón and his older brother Carlos — with whom he co-wrote the screenplay — take advantage of their scoundrel antihero’s job and proclivities to riff on TV commercials, and to document yuppie life in early 1990s Mexico. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The first film by Roma director Alfonso Cuarón is streaming on Netflix," 23 Nov. 2018

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

1561, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for proclivity

Latin proclivitas, from proclivis sloping, prone, from pro- forward + clivus slope — more at pro-, declivity

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Dictionary Entries near proclivity

proclisis

proclitic

proclive

proclivity

Proclus

Procne

procnemial

Statistics for proclivity

Last Updated

5 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for proclivity

The first known use of proclivity was in 1561

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More Definitions for proclivity

proclivity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of proclivity

formal : a strong natural liking for something that is usually bad : a tendency to do something that is usually bad

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