proportion

noun
pro·​por·​tion | \ prə-ˈpȯr-shən \

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 \

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

Net Marketshare estimates that Windows 10 is on about 43 percent of Windows machines to 45 percent using Windows 7; StatCounter puts the proportions at 48 percent Windows 10 and 39 percent Windows 7. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Windows 10 passes 700 million devices, 1 billion still far off," 26 Sep. 2018 To achieve curls of planetary proportions, throw out your frizz-prevention rulebook and embrace the fluff. Lauren Hubbard, Harper's BAZAAR, "13 Easy Halloween Costumes That Are All About The Hairstyle," 4 Sep. 2018 By 2018, the proportion of those living in such free countries had dropped to 39%. James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 2018 Dogs evolved to eat mostly meat, so the proportion of ingredients in their food can affect their poop, Morgan says. Marygrace Taylor, Good Housekeeping, "6 Things Your Dog's Poop Can Tell You About Its Health," 11 July 2018 In a trend that has been widely lauded, the proportion of high school graduates who go straight to college has increased from 63 percent in 2000 to 70 percent now, the U.S. Department of Education says. Jon Marcus, star-telegram, "More high school grads than ever are going to college, but 1 in 5 will quit," 7 July 2018 The majority was categorized as holding Islamist-extremist views – 82 percent, according to Home Office statistics – but the proportion of those holding far-right ideologies has increased too, the statistics show. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, "The vicious circle of Islamist terrorism and far-right extremism," 6 July 2018 The structure, literally of Biblical proportions, opened to the public in July 2016 and drew about 800,000 visitors to Williamstown during its first year of operation. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "Ark Encounter reports 1 million visitors in second year," 5 July 2018 Extra-large shapes and major prints require a shoe of equally mega proportions. Christina Perez, Harper's BAZAAR, "6 Unexpected Ways to Style the Shoes of the Season," 6 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 A few of the son’s images were worthy of the name Audubon, but most were awkward imitations of his father’s style, poorly proportioned and lifeless. William Souder, Smithsonian, "The Fantastic Beasts of John James Audubon’s Little-Known Book on Mammals," 23 Feb. 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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Last Updated

7 Jan 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 \

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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