propensity

noun
pro·​pen·​si·​ty | \ prə-ˈpen(t)-sə-tē How to pronounce propensity (audio) \
plural propensities

Definition of propensity

: an often intense natural inclination or preference

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Synonyms for propensity

Synonyms

aptness, proneness, tendency, way

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Choose the Right Synonym for propensity

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

You'll Like the Etymology of Propensity

When it comes to synonyms of propensity, the letter "p" predominates. Proclivity, preference, penchant, and predilection all share with propensity the essential meaning of "a strong instinct or liking." Not every word that is similar in meaning to propensity begins with "p," however. Propensity comes from Latin propensus, the past participle of propendēre, a verb meaning "to incline" or "to hang forward or down." Thus leaning and inclination are as good synonyms of propensity as any of those "p"-words.

Examples of propensity in a Sentence

Other researches are exploring how the adolescent propensity for uninhibited risk taking propels teens to experiment with drugs and alcohol. — Claudia Wallis, Time, 10 May 2004 On the other hand, a jury might be convinced that a meth dealer who had brazenly fired a pistol through his door had a propensity for violence. — John Cloud, Time, 14 July 2003 A central tenet of this camp's proponents is that a considerable number of biological dispositions evolved during the Stone Age, including a male propensity for making war. — Bruce Bower, Science News, 27 Jan. 2001 He had a propensity for crime. the criminal propensities of the family extended over several generations
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Recent Examples on the Web

And in the meantime, surgeons are bettering our odds by screening to evaluate patients’ propensity for clots, encouraging the use of compression garments during and after surgery, and prescribing blood thinners when necessary. Jolene Edgar, Allure, "Life in Plastic: A Complete Guide to the "Mommy Makeover"," 16 July 2018 This propensity to save, undimmed despite years of rock-bottom interest rates, and the government’s own budget surpluses are among the reasons for Germany’s high current-account surplus. Andrea Thomas, WSJ, "Germany to Cut Public-Sector Investment as Welfare Spending Rises," 2 May 2018 Given Netflix's propensity for keeping shows on a schedule, a January release is fairly likely for Grace & Frankie's sixth season, giving fans plenty of time to catch up on the show's back catalog. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Grace and Frankie," 27 Jan. 2019 Fliers were posted on the professor’s bulletin board stating that African people have lower IQs and a higher propensity for rape and murder. Rob Kuznia, Washington Post, "It’s happened again: A fraternity is under fire for racist behavior, and a university has cracked down.," 25 Apr. 2018 Under the gaze of Dr. Smith’s cameras, nature revealed propensities and potentials undreamt of on Earth in what had been thought of as the frozen silent depths of time. Dennis Overbye, BostonGlobe.com, "Bradford Smith, 86, dies; showed postcards from outer space," 13 July 2018 Many of these were introduced to get around the Bradford’s poor branch structure and propensity to break. Adrian Higgins, The Seattle Times, "Scientists thought they had created the perfect tree. But it became a nightmare.," 17 Sep. 2018 Under the gaze of Dr. Smith’s cameras, nature revealed propensities and potentials undreamt of on Earth in what had been thought of as the frozen silent depths of time. Dennis Overbye, BostonGlobe.com, "Bradford Smith, 86, dies; showed postcards from outer space," 13 July 2018 One reason so many Democrats go missing on polling day is that propensity to vote increases with income, and many would-be Democrats are poor. The Economist, "Demography is not destinyBuilding a multiracial coalition is more difficult than it seems," 12 July 2018

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

1570, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for propensity

see propense

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Statistics for propensity

Last Updated

5 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for propensity

The first known use of propensity was in 1570

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More Definitions for propensity

propensity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of propensity

formal : a strong natural tendency to do something

propensity

noun
pro·​pen·​si·​ty | \ prə-ˈpen-sə-tē How to pronounce propensity (audio) \

Kids Definition of propensity

: a natural tendency to do or favor something They have a propensity to chatter.

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Comments on propensity

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