Definition of propensity
: an often intense natural inclination or preference
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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
Recent Examples of propensity from the Web
Marsh bass also have a propensity to school up, probably due to the tidal movement that sweeps bait to them in certain areas.
While the health of one’s finances tends to rise with income, age and education, the study discovered that the propensity to plan had an even greater effect than those other factors on predicting who’s financially sound.
In fact, Huntsman spiders are sometimes called banana spiders for their propensity to appear on their namesake fruit shipments.
Another class of EB patients lead lives marked by painful whole-body scarring, fingers that fuse together, internal blistering and a propensity to develop skin cancer that kills them in their 20s or early 30s.
So sometimes groups that really have no propensity for violence, although their rhetoric might foment it, object to be listed with the Ku Klux Klan.
As the patient population is getting older, there’s a high incidence of diabetes, higher propensity of infections, people on beta blockers or blood thinners…
Bencze said Lincoln, who will also be a physical education teacher, showcased not only the coaching aspects, but the propensity to fit in with the Pioneers community.
Consumer confidence was particularly strong, suggesting that recent drops in unemployment across the eurozone and increased optimism over the outlook have helped alter individuals' propensity to spend in the crucial run-up to Christmas.
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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of propensity
First Known Use: 1570
Synonym Discussion of propensity
PROPENSITY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of propensity for English Language Learners
: a strong natural tendency to do something
PROPENSITY Defined for Kids
Definition of propensity for Students
: a natural tendency to do or favor something They have a propensity to chatter.
Seen and Heard
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