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

Only Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader and New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman can boast better strikeout proclivity than Kimbrel’s rate of 14.7 per nine innings. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, "Cubs add closer Craig Kimbrel and Dodgers get company in N.L. pennant race," 5 June 2019 And Avant’s legendary proclivity for cursing people out at any given moment to drive home a lesson or point of view. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Clarence Avant Documentary 'The Black Godfather' Draws Star-Studded Audience to LA Premiere," 4 June 2019 Unsurprisingly, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's daughter, North West, has a proclivity for the finer things in life. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "North West Borrowed Kim Kardashian's High Heels at True Thompson's Birthday Party," 16 Apr. 2019 The regime’s proclivity to assassinate expatriate dissidents—which crescendoed in the 1990s when President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and his fixer, Mr. Rouhani, were in power—is growing again. Reuel Marc Gerecht, WSJ, "Tehran Counts on a Divided West," 12 Dec. 2018 Rather than a party man, Petro is an individual leader with populist proclivities. Time, "The Most Surprising Aspect of Colombia's Election Wasn't Who Won," 20 June 2018 Daltrey is known for his working-class ethos — as opposed to Townshend’s art school proclivities. Dan Deluca, Philly.com, "Roger Daltrey on 'Tommy,' The Who and saving Pete Townshend from sycophantitis," 14 June 2018 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

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

14 Jun 2019

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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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