proportion

noun
pro·​por·​tion | \ prə-ˈpȯr-shən How to pronounce proportion (audio) \

Definition of proportion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : harmonious relation of parts to each other or to the whole : balance, symmetry
2a : proper or equal share each did her proportion of the work
3 : the relation of one part to another or to the whole with respect to magnitude, quantity, or degree : ratio
5 : a statement of equality between two ratios in which the first of the four terms divided by the second equals the third divided by the fourth (as in 4/2=10/5) — compare extreme sense 1b, mean sense 1c
in proportion

proportion

verb
proportioned; proportioning\ prə-​ˈpȯr-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce proportioning (audio) \

Definition of proportion (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to adjust (a part or thing) in size relative to other parts or things
2 : to make the parts of harmonious or symmetrical

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Examples of proportion in a Sentence

Noun

His ears were drawn out of proportion with his head. The size of the window seems out of proportion with the height of the wall.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Pakistan has one of the world’s lowest rates of health-care spending as a proportion of gross domestic product, according to the World Bank. Preetika Rana, WSJ, "Reused Syringes, Drips Infected Hundreds of Pakistani Children With HIV," 14 June 2019 What is more Camp than a 'fro of impractical proportions, complete with its own stockpile of hair tools? Jihan Forbes, Allure, "Lupita Nyong'o Wore Makeup Inspired by Iconic Drag Queen Divine to the 2019 Met Gala," 7 May 2019 While Florida's snakes are quite large, they've been known to balloon up to freakish proportions across the world, in their native Asian habitats: One python captured in Malaysia in 2016 notched a length of around 26 feet. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Capture the Biggest Snake Ever Found in the Florida Everglades," 8 Apr. 2019 The low-slung G70 is built with the same basic set of parts as the Kia Stinger, but the wheelbase of the Genesis is 2.8 inches shorter than the Kia's, which gives the G70 tight, classic proportions. Car and Driver, "2019 10Best Cars," 28 Nov. 2018 As such, the LUAC’s final recommendation includes maintaining the proportion of single-family to multi-family (88 percent to 12 percent, respectively) - clarifying the ratio is the community’s vision today and in the foreseeable future. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Draft Land Use Plan public hearing set for June 26," 19 June 2018 The numbers may seem small, but they were mirrored in the same proportion when the researchers checked insurance claims information from another database. Author: Christopher Rowland, Anchorage Daily News, "Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer’s. Why didn’t it tell the world?," 5 June 2019 Consideration of Trump’s physical proportions brings us to his pants. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Analysis: What’s with Trump’s suits? Asking a tailor," 4 June 2019 The numbers may seem small, but they were mirrored in the same proportion when the researchers checked insurance claims information from another database. Christopher Rowland, Washington Post, "Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer’s. Why didn’t it tell the world?," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Again, Charles’s tuxedo is properly proportioned, perhaps in part a function of his wearing this sort of formalwear more regularly. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Analysis: What’s with Trump’s suits? Asking a tailor," 4 June 2019 Sunspel’s well-proportioned V that doesn’t plunge into clavicle territory is a safe, confident choice. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "The War Over T-Shirt Necklines: V vs. Crew," 22 Aug. 2018 In essence, the approach lets Peach look a little less Barbie-proportioned. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Nintendo reveals it invented “Bowsette” before the Internet did," 28 Sep. 2018 This new map, created by a trio of researchers from across the U.S. and Australia, improves on the design of the Robinson projection by preserving its aesthetic appeal while also correctly proportioning the continents. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Feast Your Eyes on "Equal Earth," the New and More Accurate World Map," 5 Sep. 2018 The styles of these eleven pieces vary — some are formally proportioned, others fantasy-like. Peter Dobrin, Philly.com, "Paul Lewis closes Philadelphia Chamber Music Society piano series," 11 May 2018 The creature is the third type of enormous pterosaur revealed so far from this region, which means Transylvania can now boast the world’s largest known concentration of epically proportioned flying reptiles. National Geographic, "Ancient Flying Predator Found in Transylvania," 8 May 2018 When Jolie took on the role, there were criticisms from diehard fans of the video game series that her being American and not ... proportioned to the physical design of the character were setbacks. Josh Spiegel, The Hollywood Reporter, "Is Alicia Vikander Too Good for 'Tomb Raider'?," 16 Mar. 2018 The all-new car’s body is nicely proportioned, albeit less than muscular. Al Haas, Philly.com, "Retooled Chevrolet Equinox provides a solid ride | Al Haas," 6 Mar. 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for proportion

Noun

Middle English proporcion, from Anglo-French, from Latin proportion-, proportio, from pro for + portion-, portio portion — more at for

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Statistics for proportion

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for proportion

The first known use of proportion was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for proportion

proportion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of proportion

: an amount that is a part of a whole
: the relationship that exists between the size, number, or amount of two things
: the correct or appropriate relationship between the size, shape, and position of the different parts of something

proportion

noun
pro·​por·​tion | \ prə-ˈpȯr-shən How to pronounce proportion (audio) \

Kids Definition of proportion

1 : the size, number, or amount of one thing or group of things as compared to that of another thing or group of things The proportion of boys to girls in our class is two to one.
2 : a balanced or pleasing arrangement The oversize garage is out of proportion with the house.
3 : a statement of the equality of two ratios (as ⁴/₂ = ¹⁰/₅)
4 : a fair or just share I did my proportion of the work.
5 : size, shape, or extent of something It was a crisis of large proportions.

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Comments on proportion

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