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

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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

commensurable, commensurate, proportionate

Antonyms: Adjective


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Examples of proportional in a Sentence


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

The result is that the mirror starts to vibrate at 1kHz, with the amplitude of the kHz proportional to the energy imparted by the particle collisions going on in the mirror. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Baby gravitational wave detector could find a home at the LHC," 3 Oct. 2018 State elections are often seen as key political tests for the ruling party ahead national elections and are crucial at national level because each state nominates a proportional number of representatives to India's upper house of parliament. Edwin Thomas And Huizhong Wu, CNN, "Modi's BJP party kicks into election mode in India with massive rally," 6 Apr. 2018 The amount of waste your dog produces is proportional to the amount of indigestible content in his food. Marygrace Taylor, Good Housekeeping, "6 Things Your Dog's Poop Can Tell You About Its Health," 11 July 2018 So don't overwhelm your face, advises Wexler, who says your goal is to choose frames that are proportional. Amanda Greene, Woman's Day, "Sunglasses for Every Face Shape," 9 July 2010 Though price to earnings ratios have fallen in the U.S., the sharpest proportional declines have come from Europe and China. Mike Bird, WSJ, "The Great Cheapening of 2018: Global Stock Valuations Now at Five-Year Lows," 12 Dec. 2018 The city spends 9 to 11 percent of its budget on Palestinian neighborhoods, not proportional to their population, said Meir Margalit, a dovish former Jerusalem city council member. Tia Goldenberg, Fox News, "Israeli east Jerusalem plan gets cool Palestinian reception," 20 July 2018 Ferrell seemed to live his life as if to refute the notion that academic success is proportional to the narrowness of one’s field of study. James Grant, WSJ, "Robert H. Ferrell, a Historian of Breadth and Clarity," 17 Aug. 2018 Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation tells us that a planet’s gravitational force is proportional to its mass. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "We’ve Been Wrong Before: The Expanding Earth Theory," 3 Aug. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

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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).


an enemy or opponent

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