proportion

noun
pro·​por·​tion | \ prə-ˈpȯr-shən How to pronounce proportion (audio) \

Definition of proportion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : harmonious relation of parts to each other or to the whole : balance, symmetry
2a : proper or equal share each did her proportion of the work
3 : the relation of one part to another or to the whole with respect to magnitude, quantity, or degree : ratio
5 : a statement of equality between two ratios in which the first of the four terms divided by the second equals the third divided by the fourth (as in 4/2=10/5) — compare extreme sense 1b, mean sense 1c
in proportion

proportion

verb
proportioned; proportioning\ prə-​ˈpȯr-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce proportioning (audio) \

Definition of proportion (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to adjust (a part or thing) in size relative to other parts or things
2 : to make the parts of harmonious or symmetrical

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Examples of proportion in a Sentence

Noun

His ears were drawn out of proportion with his head. The size of the window seems out of proportion with the height of the wall.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In furniture, this means squatter proportions and rounder forms. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Cute furniture is a reprieve from our age of anxiety," 7 Aug. 2019 The association will manage the basket of fiat currencies that will make up the Libra reserve, deciding which currencies to buy, in what proportion, and where they will be invested. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "Facebook’s Audacious Pitch for a Global Cryptocurrency," 30 July 2019 One person told her the media had blown that out of proportion. Fox News, "Florida woman says dad died of flesh-eating bacteria less than 48 hours after entering water," 13 July 2019 Be aware that such irritations can get blown out of proportion and wind up being big-bang, slam-the-door problems. Bea Lewis, sun-sentinel.com, "How to survive summer family visits | Opinion," 2 July 2019 In the June 16 performance, conductor/harpsichordist Christopher Allen flailed too much at the beginning, prompting the orchestra to play too loudly, but things soon settled down to apt proportions and stylish suppleness. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Classic operas 'The Marriage of Figaro' and 'Rigoletto' round out the St. Louis festival," 18 June 2019 What would street style be without XXL proportions and clashing prints? Emily Farra, Vogue, "The Biggest Street-Style Trends of Fall 2019," 13 Mar. 2019 But the government’s net interest payments peaked as a proportion of its revenue in the 1980s, and currently run at a fraction of 1% of Japanese economic output—a burden the nation can easily bear. Mike Bird, WSJ, "The Myths and Legends of Japan’s 20 Years With Zero Interest Rates," 13 Feb. 2019 Use the 9th’s New Moon to plan journeys of epic proportions and shifts in consciousness that have been a long time coming. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Monthly Lovescopes September 2018," 1 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

My body is proportioned in whatever way society thinks is redeemable. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Barbie Ferreira Is Ready for More ‘Hot and Secure’ Fat Girls on TV," 4 Aug. 2019 Again, Charles’s tuxedo is properly proportioned, perhaps in part a function of his wearing this sort of formalwear more regularly. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Analysis: What’s with Trump’s suits? Asking a tailor," 4 June 2019 Sunspel’s well-proportioned V that doesn’t plunge into clavicle territory is a safe, confident choice. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "The War Over T-Shirt Necklines: V vs. Crew," 22 Aug. 2018 In essence, the approach lets Peach look a little less Barbie-proportioned. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Nintendo reveals it invented “Bowsette” before the Internet did," 28 Sep. 2018 This new map, created by a trio of researchers from across the U.S. and Australia, improves on the design of the Robinson projection by preserving its aesthetic appeal while also correctly proportioning the continents. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Feast Your Eyes on "Equal Earth," the New and More Accurate World Map," 5 Sep. 2018 The styles of these eleven pieces vary — some are formally proportioned, others fantasy-like. Peter Dobrin, Philly.com, "Paul Lewis closes Philadelphia Chamber Music Society piano series," 11 May 2018 The creature is the third type of enormous pterosaur revealed so far from this region, which means Transylvania can now boast the world’s largest known concentration of epically proportioned flying reptiles. National Geographic, "Ancient Flying Predator Found in Transylvania," 8 May 2018 When Jolie took on the role, there were criticisms from diehard fans of the video game series that her being American and not ... proportioned to the physical design of the character were setbacks. Josh Spiegel, The Hollywood Reporter, "Is Alicia Vikander Too Good for 'Tomb Raider'?," 16 Mar. 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for proportion

Noun

Middle English proporcion, from Anglo-French, from Latin proportion-, proportio, from pro for + portion-, portio portion — more at for

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Statistics for proportion

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for proportion

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

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More Definitions for proportion

proportion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of proportion

: an amount that is a part of a whole
: the relationship that exists between the size, number, or amount of two things
: the correct or appropriate relationship between the size, shape, and position of the different parts of something

proportion

noun
pro·​por·​tion | \ prə-ˈpȯr-shən How to pronounce proportion (audio) \

Kids Definition of proportion

1 : the size, number, or amount of one thing or group of things as compared to that of another thing or group of things The proportion of boys to girls in our class is two to one.
2 : a balanced or pleasing arrangement The oversize garage is out of proportion with the house.
3 : a statement of the equality of two ratios (as ⁴/₂ = ¹⁰/₅)
4 : a fair or just share I did my proportion of the work.
5 : size, shape, or extent of something It was a crisis of large proportions.

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Comments on proportion

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