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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The proportion of South African output going to China, for instance, has shot up from 2% in the mid-2000s to 15% now, according to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute. Washington Post, "China’s growth cools further as tariff war pressures mount," 15 July 2019 For many disease types, the proportion of female participants didn’t match the gender breakdown of real-world patients. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "25 years of women being underrepresented in medical research, in charts," 3 July 2019 On the one hand, since 2015, the share of women in the film academy has grown by 7%, while the proportion of people of color has doubled. Josh Rottenberg, latimes.com, "Film academy invites more women than men to key director, writer and producer branches," 1 July 2019 At the corporate giants, the proportion of departing CEOs forced out by dissatisfied boards, and surprise appointments from outside the company, are remarkably low. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "More People Named Jeffrey Got Top CEO Jobs Than Women Last Year," 27 June 2019 Researchers say that proportions of certain bacterial species increase after endurance athletes have completed a marathon. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, "Elite Athletes’ Gut Bacteria Give Rodent Runners a Boost," 24 June 2019 During that time, the total number of U.S. patents dramatically increased; the proportion of patents that relied on federal research grew by an even greater degree. STAT, "Federally funded research drives nearly one-third of U.S. patents, report finds," 20 June 2019 In the past five years, the proportion of TFA teachers placed in charter schools has increased even as the raw numbers have gone down, reflecting an overall decrease in corps members. Annie Waldman, ProPublica, "How Teach for America Evolved Into an Arm of the Charter School Movement," 18 June 2019 Between 2010 and 2018, the proportion of workers at firms with three to 49 workers covered by an employer plan fell by more than 25%. Brian Blase For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Trump's new rule will give businesses and workers better health care options," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about proportion

Statistics for proportion

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for proportion

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on proportion

What made you want to look up proportion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

having no luck

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!