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

Did You Know?

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

The iso routes play to Ben Roethlisberger’s paradoxical proclivity for both getting the ball out immediately and extending plays, and the approach shined when built around a superstar like Antonio Brown. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "Steelers’ Weaknesses on Both Sides of the Ball Exposed in Loss to Patriots," 11 Sep. 2019 That raises questions about Tom—who, as head of global news, is sacrificed as the fall guy for ATN’s right-wing, sensationalist proclivities—and, of course, about Logan’s successor. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "‘Succession’ Recap, S2E5: Money Wins," 9 Sep. 2019 But both Novotny and Hendlin are skeptical that startups like these address the root of the problem: people's proclivity to litter cigarette butts. National Geographic, "Cigarette butts are toxic plastic pollution. Should they be banned?," 9 Aug. 2019 Indeed, Siegien’s back-to-the-basket proclivity was one of the traits that attracted multiple Division III schools. Steve Reaven, chicagotribune.com, "A business decision: Glenbrook North grad Frank Siegien heads to Lake Forest College," 15 July 2019 While there was prejudice among some faculty members, Begian famously treated his white and black students equally and was sympathetic to those with jazz proclivities. Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press, "'Jazz from Detroit': Exclusive excerpt from new book about city's remarkable jazz legacy," 30 June 2019 The two Farmer sisters made another run at telling their story in 2003 to Vicky Ward, a reporter for Vanity Fair, which had commissioned an article about Mr. Epstein’s complicated finances that would also mention his proclivity for young girls. Mike Baker, New York Times, "The Sisters Who First Tried to Take Down Jeffrey Epstein," 26 Aug. 2019 Throughout her work, Howland illuminates our seemingly limitless talent for rejecting each other, our proclivity for designing systems that absorb some of us, but never all. Abigail Deutsch, Harper's magazine, "Bette on the Blues," 22 July 2019 The very elements that have won Charbono a devoted following — its proclivity toward low alcohol levels, its rustic tannins — have also excluded it from contemporary Napa Valley stardom. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "The fight to keep alive Charbono, Napa’s nearly extinct heritage grape," 26 June 2019

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

20 Sep 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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