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]

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 website's popularity increased exponentially, resulting in a proportional increase in advertising revenue
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And the second is that Labour and the Liberal Democrats pass legislation that creates a proportional-representation system. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 12 July 2022 Many extreme, single-issue candidates running as independents came together to get on the proportional-representation ballot. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, 22 May 2022 If two shapes are similar, the angle measures are the same and the side lengths are proportional. Mark Wolfmeyer, Popular Mechanics, 25 May 2022 One tenet of Title IX states that the number of male and female athletes must be proportional to the number of male and female undergraduate students. Lori Riley, Hartford Courant, 19 June 2022 Your productivity and success will be proportional to your ability to strategically use your teams and resources. Kara Dennison, Forbes, 17 June 2022 The switch to the fee-for-service approach came about because advertisers decided that agency income was excessive and needs to be more proportional. Avi Dan, Forbes, 2 June 2022 Given the close national divide between the parties, a more proportional House will probably be a more volatile one, with fewer stable majorities and even sharper partisan differences. David Lautersenior Editor, Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr. 2022 Some thought that Smith was vindicated and proportional in his response to the joke, following the instinct to protect Pinkett, while others opined that violence is never the answer. Philip Ellis, Men's Health, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near proportional



proportional counter

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Cite this Entry

“Proportional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for proportional


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

More from Merriam-Webster on proportional

Nglish: Translation of proportional for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of proportional for Arabic Speakers


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