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 When the microbes are in their proper proportions, pathogens such as rhizoctonia, pythium, fusarium, etc., function in a positive way. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "This is the one question you need to ask before purchasing a garden product," 23 Jan. 2020 The effect is deeply upsetting; though the actors are covered in fur and sporting twitchy tails, their proportions are still human, so the actors appear discomfitingly sensual while dancing and serenading one another. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) In Theaters and on Netflix This Weekend," 18 Dec. 2019 The bodies may move like those of Michelangelo, but their proportions are elongated and their curious blend of elegance and overt suffering seems more indebted to Donatello. Philip Kennicott, Houston Chronicle, "This 16-century Spanish sculptor changed how his country looked at religious art," 11 Dec. 2019 The bodies may move like those of Michelangelo, but their proportions are elongated and their curious blend of elegance and overt suffering seems more indebted to Donatello. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, "This 16-century Spanish sculptor changed how his country looked at religious art," 2 Dec. 2019 This is not necessarily because of a huge jump in the number of people overstaying their visas; rather, their proportion of the undocumented population has soared amid a huge decline in border crossings since 2000. Miriam Jordan, New York Times, "The Overlooked Illegal Immigrants: From India, China, Brazil," 1 Dec. 2019 Parla prefers using a spoon, so her proportion of liquid is higher. Becky Krystal, The Denver Post, "How to make a thrifty, fast and tasty one-pot pasta any day of the week," 7 Nov. 2019 In typical Johnston Marklee style, it was done with grace: The building retains its low-slung, light-industrial proportions, in keeping with the neighborhood. Los Angeles Times, "The L.A. architects who design buildings that make you say, ‘Huh?,’ then ‘Wow!’," 16 Oct. 2019 Flared trousers normally make my legs look short, but the heeled booties balance out my bottom proportions. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Why I'm Wearing These Black Boots Everywhere This Fall," 20 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The colors were bright, the texture was soft, the Bavarian cream filling was properly proportioned and evenly distributed. al, "Never buy the last king cake in the store," 20 Jan. 2020 At mile eighty-one of the New York State Thruway, the gray silhouettes of the Catskills come into view, perfectly framed and proportioned. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The Art of Dying," 16 Dec. 2019 Mashburn educated herself on portion sizes during her first few months of the diet, paying attention to the serving size on labels and making sure to proportion her snacks and meals accordingly. NBC News, "How one woman lost 95 pounds and still got her Taco Bell fix," 30 Nov. 2019 With the ability to power each wheel individually, electric trucks like this one promise to surpass the capability of four-wheel drive by actively proportioning power to the wheels with the most grip. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "Is the Tesla Cybertruck for Real?," 22 Nov. 2019 Scientists first became aware of the okapi, which has a long tongue and legs proportioned like those of a giraffe, at the turn of the 20th century. National Geographic, "Unique anatomy sets giraffe apart in the animal kingdom," 20 Sep. 2019 In the meat industry, the carcass balancing problem describes how animal bodies are not proportioned to the ratios of products that humans actually demand. Liz Specht, WIRED, "Alt-Meat Trounces Animal Meat's Massive Inefficiencies," 19 Aug. 2019 My body is proportioned in whatever way society thinks is redeemable. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Barbie Ferreira Is Ready for More ‘Hot and Secure’ Fat Girls on TV," 4 Aug. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for proportion

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for proportion

Last Updated

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Proportion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/proportion. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for proportion

proportion

noun
How to pronounce proportion (audio)

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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