Synonyms & Antonyms of propensity

1 an established pattern of behavior
  • the criminal propensities of the family extended over several generations

Synonyms for propensity

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Frequently Asked Questions About propensity

How does the noun propensity contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of propensity are leaning, penchant, and proclivity. While all these words mean "a strong instinct or liking for something," propensity implies a deeply ingrained and usually irresistible inclination.

a propensity to offer advice

When is it sensible to use leaning instead of propensity?

The meanings of leaning and propensity largely overlap; however, leaning suggests a liking or attraction not strong enough to be decisive or uncontrollable.

a student with artistic leanings

When can penchant be used instead of propensity?

The words penchant and propensity are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, penchant implies a strongly marked taste in the person or an irresistible attraction in the object.

a penchant for taking risks

When could proclivity be used to replace propensity?

The synonyms proclivity and propensity are sometimes interchangeable, but proclivity suggests a strong natural proneness usually to something objectionable or evil.

a proclivity for violence

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The first known use of propensity was in 1570

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Cite this Entry

“Propensity.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on propensity

Nglish: Translation of propensity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of propensity for Arabic Speakers


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