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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Despite being only five years of age, North has already shown a strong proclivity for the finer luxuries in life, which comes as no surprise considering her parents are Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "North West Borrowed Kim Kardashian's High Heel Snakeskin Boots," 25 Apr. 2019 Anatomy of the infection Over the years, scientists had accumulated clues to measles' mysterious mechanism, including the viruses' seeming proclivity for attacking the immune cells. National Geographic, "Measles vaccines protect against more than just measles. Here's how.," 4 Mar. 2019 This helps prevent attackers from untangling the data and figuring out people’s real identities and purchasing proclivities. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Facebook Cryptocurrency: Calibra’s Privacy Implications," 18 June 2019 But his charisma masked something darker, a proclivity towards self-harm and depression. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Who Can Play the X-Men Now?," 7 June 2019 Over the years, scientists had accumulated clues to measles' mysterious mechanism, including the viruses' seeming proclivity for attacking the immune cells. National Geographic, "Measles vaccines protect against more than just measles. Here's how.," 4 Mar. 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about proclivity

Listen to Our Podcast about proclivity

Dictionary Entries near proclivity

proclisis

proclitic

proclive

proclivity

Proclus

Procne

procnemial

Statistics for proclivity

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for proclivity

The first known use of proclivity was in 1561

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on proclivity

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

WORD OF THE DAY

food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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