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
Did You Know?
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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