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]

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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 One result, perhaps unsurprising, is that the fraction of students and teachers getting infected at school was proportional to infection rates in the general community. Casey B. Mulligan, National Review, 21 Sep. 2021 Avoiding a cat can be proportional to dragon-style boss battles. Pearse Anderson, Wired, 9 Sep. 2021 The application used to make the maps presented Wednesday, Dave’s Redistricting, shows that Democrats should win two seats on the council proportional to their population in the county. James Whitlow,, 16 Sep. 2021 If the preliminary data holds, the increase would be the biggest proportional increase the state has seen since 1972, the report said. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2021 But Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen preferred the general allocation route because as long as the U.S. share of that allocation is less than the U.S. equity stake in the fund, a proportional disbursement can be made without Congressional approval. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 25 Aug. 2021 That felt seasonally proportional, at least for me. New York Times, 19 Aug. 2021 But the report argued that these gains were neither proportional to the massive U.S. investment nor sustainable with the U.S. military now leaving. Lauren Lantry, ABC News, 17 Aug. 2021 In 2020, homicides rose in 60 of the 69 major police departments noted above, and in almost all cases at a rate more or less proportional to homicides in 2019. John Pfaff, The New Republic, 21 June 2021

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.

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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 20 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of proportional

: having a size, number, or amount that is directly related to or appropriate for something
: having parts that are the correct or appropriate size in relation to each other


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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