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

Out-of-this-World Lashes Setting the stage for a showing of freaky fringe, Lady Gaga hit the red carpet with a gilded set of gold leaf lashes that stretched to outlandish proportions. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The 7 Biggest Camp Beauty Trends at the Met Gala, From Neon Gazes to Ceiling-Bound Hair," 7 May 2019 Only 12% of golfers in Scotland are female, half the proportion across Europe. The Economist, "How women and children might save golf in Scotland," 5 July 2018 Fans went wild at the time, but JLo herself has clarified that it all got blown out of proportion, and Diddy even apologized to ARod for the message. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Jennifer Lopez Reveals Diddy Apologized to Alex Rodriguez After Leaving a Flirty Instagram Comment," 11 Apr. 2019 So a basic exercise like a lunge uses different proportions of muscles in sand than on a hard flat surface supported by shoes. Amy Marturana, SELF, "5 Things to Know Before Working Out on the Beach," 6 Apr. 2019 The dining room’s square proportions and skylight were inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Bob Morris, ELLE Decor, "A Minimalist West Village Townhouse Is Given a Sensuous and Cerebral New Life," 23 Nov. 2018 The 11-inch model has essentially the same proportions as the prior 10.5-inch model. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Apple’s new iPad Pro has Face ID, USB-C, and slimmer bezels than ever before," 30 Oct. 2018 Orben’s study relies on a tool called the percent or proportion variance explained (PVE). Jessica Wapner, SELF, "How Worried Do You Really Need to Be About Your Screen Time?," 7 Feb. 2019 In the space of less than a year, her music, videos, and fashion have made her a star of Lady Gaga proportions. Harper's BAZAAR, "Cardi B Opens Up About Her "Rags to Riches" Cinderella Story," 7 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The all-new car’s body is nicely proportioned, albeit less than muscular. Al Haas, Philly.com, "Retooled Chevrolet Equinox provides a solid ride | Al Haas," 6 Mar. 2018 A few of the son’s images were worthy of the name Audubon, but most were awkward imitations of his father’s style, poorly proportioned and lifeless. William Souder, Smithsonian, "The Fantastic Beasts of John James Audubon’s Little-Known Book on Mammals," 23 Feb. 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

13 May 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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