proportional

1 of 2

noun

pro·​por·​tion·​al prə-ˈpȯr-shnəl How to pronounce proportional (audio)
-shə-nᵊl
: a number or quantity in a proportion

proportional

2 of 2

adjective

1
a
: 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]
proportionality noun
proportionally
prə-ˈpȯr-shnə-lē How to pronounce proportional (audio)
-shə-nᵊl-ē
adverb

Examples of proportional in a Sentence

Adjective The features of the face in the drawing are proportional. the website's popularity increased exponentially, resulting in a proportional increase in advertising revenue
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Are the savings or commercial advantages gained through AI deployment proportional to its sustainability costs? Guy Courtin, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 Bottoms like leggings, black tights, and skinny jeans are perfect options to keep your outfit proportional. Parents Editors, Parents, 13 June 2023 Each of the finalists were judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for college success with the number of winners in each state proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 26 Jan. 2023
Adjective
If everything is proportional, that would give us a run time of 3.6 seconds. Rhett Allain, WIRED, 4 May 2024 Their arms and legs are growing and becoming proportional, and the fetus is gaining more weight. Tiffany Eve Lawrence, Parents, 3 May 2024 This fake force will be proportional to the acceleration of the frame, but in the opposite direction. Rhett Allain, WIRED, 12 Apr. 2024 Bekenstein’s entropy said that the amount of information in a black hole is proportional to the area of the horizon. Quanta Magazine, 11 Apr. 2024 Due to the way Democrats and Republicans are clustered or spread around different parts of the state, the total number of votes for each party does not always translate into a proportional number of seats in the state Legislature. Andrew Hahn, Journal Sentinel, 27 Mar. 2024 Even when proportional to the departures of their male counterparts, women’s congressional departures evoke a sense of precariousness of gender progress at the highest levels of political office, at least when progress is measured by numbers alone. Kelly Dittmar, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 Your own choice not to continue an active relationship with them because of their behavior toward you seems proportional. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 4 Feb. 2024 The frequency of this wobble is proportional to both the strength of the magnetic field and the size of the magnetic dipole moment of the needle. Luke Caldwell, Scientific American, 16 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'proportional.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

borrowed from Late Latin prōportiōnāle, noun derivative from neuter of prōportiōnālis proportional entry 2

Adjective

Middle English proporcional, proporcionel, borrowed from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French proporcionel, borrowed from Late Latin prōportiōnālis, from Latin prōportiōn-, prōportiō "analogy, proper spatial relation between parts" + -ālis -al entry 1 — more at proportion entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

1570, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near proportional

Cite this Entry

“Proportional.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/proportional. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

proportional

adjective
pro·​por·​tion·​al
p(r)ə-ˈpōr-shnəl,
-ˈpȯr-,
-shən-ᵊl
1
a
: being equivalent in size, amount, or strength
b
: having the same or a constant ratio
2
: set with reference to proportions
proportionality
-ˌpōr-shə-ˈnal-ət-ē
-ˌpȯr-
noun
proportionally
-ˈpōr-shnə-lē
-ˈpȯr-
-shən-ᵊl-ē
adverb

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