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 proportionality (audio) \ noun
proportionally \ prə-​ˈpȯr-​shnə-​lē How to pronounce proportionally (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 Employing new plastic technology, the phone’s handset was smooth, rounded and proportional, an improvement on unwieldy earlier versions. Catherine Anderson, Scientific American, "5 of the Best-Designed Products Ever—and What Made Them Great," 10 Mar. 2017 The coroner’s office noted that the six-month increase in deaths over last year was roughly proportional to the increase in the total number of homeless people from a year earlier. Steve Lopezcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: He died Sunday on a West L.A. sidewalk. He was homeless. He is part of an epidemic," 4 Sep. 2019 Based on the number of potentially valid claims that have been submitted to date, payments of these benefits likely will be substantially lowered and will be distributed on a proportional basis if the settlement becomes final. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Equifax claims administrator says victims must provide more info to claim cash," 9 Sep. 2019 Again, it is not required under the Constitution, and in the early days of the republic electors were often allocated on a proportional basis. Jay Cost, National Review, "Chris Hayes and Progressives’ Lack of Respect for the Constitution," 3 Sep. 2019 Although Mr Johnson has promised an additional 20,000 police officers, there will be no proportional increase in the staff who work alongside them, like data analysts or those who work in the courts. The Economist, "Boris Johnson gets out his wallet," 8 Aug. 2019 However, if there are too many people seeking payment for time spent, the money will be distributed on a proportional basis, the FTC said. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, "The Equifax settlement has already spawned deceptive websites," 2 Aug. 2019 At the time, Sweden accepted more refugees on a proportional basis than any other nation in the region, including Germany, which accepted 1 million asylum seekers. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "Trump and Sweden don't see eye to eye – on anything," 2 Aug. 2019 After that, the payouts will be lowered and distributed on a proportional basis. oregonlive, "An Equifax hack settlement offers a $125 payout. The truth is more complicated.," 27 July 2019

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

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

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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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Comments on proportional

What made you want to look up proportional? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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