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

Reds have the highest proportion of senior citizens. Johanna Blakley, Quartzy, "Four TV shows that both liberals and conservatives love—and one they both hate," 5 July 2019 But because poor people tend to spend a higher proportion of their income than others on things deemed sinful, such taxes hit them hardest. The Economist, "Boris Johnson may reverse Britain’s embrace of sin taxes," 4 July 2019 This nasty bug kills a higher proportion of those infected than even Ebola (as discussed in some detail in this piece on Ars yesterday). Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: engineering superbugs, accidentally or otherwise," 19 June 2019 Its epic proportions drew comparisons to a massive storm that occurred July 5, 2011 — a 100-mile wide, more than 1-mile-high storm that dumped 40,000 tons of dust on Phoenix in just two hours. AZCentral.com, "Summer storms are a spectacle, but the dust in them is hazardous to your health," 18 June 2019 The pattern mirrored Mayor Michael Hancock’s winning of higher proportions of late votes in his runoff, expanding his margin over challenger Jamie Giellis. Jon Murray, The Denver Post, "Super-tight runoff for Denver clerk and recorder may not have a clear winner for a week — or longer," 5 June 2019 Along the way, their proportions morphed from sleek-bodied, narrow-skulled youth into school bus-sized adults with broad skulls and teeth as big as bananas. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, "Tyrannosaurus Rex: Scary. Smart. Social?," 12 Apr. 2019 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

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

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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