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[pruh-pen-si-tee] /prəˈpɛn sɪ ti/
noun, plural propensities.
a natural inclination or tendency:
a propensity to drink too much.
Obsolete. favorable disposition or partiality.
Origin of propensity
First recorded in 1560-70; propense + -ity
1. bent, leaning, disposition, penchant, proclivity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for propensity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I had often heard of Mr. Fitzgerald's propensity to duelling.

  • He was still a little suspicious of his chum's propensity to tease.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • This propensity he inherited not only from his mother, but also from his father, who had been a frontiersman.

    Sielanka: An Idyll Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • He, had a propensity to talk about "his Pedro," as some men will talk of their dog.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
  • Are you never able to restrain your propensity for making sport?

    Frank Merriwell's Bravery Burt L. Standish
British Dictionary definitions for propensity


noun (pl) -ties
a natural tendency or disposition
(obsolete) partiality
Word Origin
C16: from Latin prōpensus inclined to, from prōpendēre to propend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for propensity

1560s, "disposition to favor," with -ty + obsolete adjective propense "inclined, prone" (1520s), from Latin propensus, past participle of propendere "incline to, hang forward, hang down, weigh over," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + pendere "hang" (see pendant).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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