pro·​por·​tion·​al | \ prə-ˈpȯr-shnəl How to pronounce proportional (audio) , -shə-nᵊl \

Definition of proportional

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a number or quantity in a proportion



Definition of proportional (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : corresponding in size, degree, or intensity
b : having the same or a constant ratio corresponding sides of similar triangles are proportional
2 : regulated or determined in size or degree with reference to proportions a proportional system of immigration quotas a proportional font/typeface [=a font/typeface with characters of various widths]

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Other Words from proportional


proportionality \ prə-​ˌpȯr-​shə-​ˈna-​lə-​tē How to pronounce proportional (audio) \ noun
proportionally \ prə-​ˈpȯr-​shnə-​lē How to pronounce proportional (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl-​ē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for proportional

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of proportional in a Sentence

Adjective The features of the face in the drawing are proportional. the Web site's popularity increased exponentially, resulting in a proportional increase in advertising revenue
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective However, for an ideal spring, the stretch distance is linearly proportional to the stretching force, and that might not be true with a bending paper clip. Rhett Allain, Wired, 4 June 2021 So the rate at which a virus spreads is proportional to the number of infected people and the number who remain uninfected and not immune. Eugenia Cheng, WSJ, 3 June 2021 The variety in fusion approaches is one of the reasons why the fusion community wants regulation to be proportional—different machine designs at different scales will have different risks. Melanie Windridge, Forbes, 2 June 2021 The number of applicants selected from Bexar and Webb counties will be proportional to the number of eligible students in each county. Andres Picon, San Antonio Express-News, 26 May 2021 If Mexico raised its minimum wage, union workers would get a proportional increase. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, 2 June 2021 With a proportional split, the larger earner pays more, but the amount is relative to their ability to pay. Paco De Leon,, 1 June 2021 More expensive models do this with a digital proportional integral derivative (PID) controller. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, 25 May 2021 While the hyperautomation concept has evolved rapidly, the adoption isn't fast and definitely not proportional to the hype. Sriram Bhargav Madhav, Forbes, 24 May 2021

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


1570, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for proportional

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for proportional

Cite this Entry

“Proportional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for proportional



English Language Learners Definition of proportional

: having a size, number, or amount that is directly related to or appropriate for something
: having parts that are the correct or appropriate size in relation to each other


pro·​por·​tion·​al | \ prə-ˈpȯr-shə-nəl How to pronounce proportional (audio) \

Kids Definition of proportional

: having a direct relationship to something in size, number, or amount The children received allowances proportional to their ages.

Other Words from proportional

proportionally adverb


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