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proportion

[pruh-pawr-shuh n, -pohr-]
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noun
  1. comparative relation between things or magnitudes as to size, quantity, number, etc.; ratio.
  2. proper relation between things or parts: to have tastes way out of proportion to one's financial means.
  3. relative size or extent.
  4. proportions, dimensions or size: a rock of gigantic proportions.
  5. a portion or part in its relation to the whole: A large proportion of the debt remains.
  6. symmetry, harmony, or balance: an architect with a sense of proportion.
  7. the significance of a thing or event that an objective view reveals: You must try to see these mishaps in proportion.
  8. Mathematics. a relation of four quantities such that the first divided by the second is equal to the third divided by the fourth; the equality of ratios.Compare rule of three.
  9. Archaic. analogy; comparison.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to adjust in proper proportion or relation, as to size, quantity, etc.
  2. to balance or harmonize the proportions of.
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Origin of proportion

1350–1400; Middle English proporcio(u)n < Latin prōportiōn- (stem of prōportiō) symmetry, analogy. See pro-1, portion
Related formspro·por·tion·er, nounpro·por·tion·less, adjectivemis·pro·por·tion, nounre·pro·por·tion, verb (used with object)su·per·pro·por·tion, noun

Synonyms

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1. comparison. 5. share. 6. distribution, arrangement. See symmetry. 10. regulate, arrange, balance, harmonize.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for proportion

proportion

noun
  1. the relationship between different things or parts with respect to comparative size, number, or degree; relative magnitude or extent; ratio
  2. the correct or desirable relationship between parts of a whole; balance or symmetry
  3. a part considered with respect to the whole
  4. (plural) dimensions or sizea building of vast proportions
  5. a share, part, or quota
  6. maths a relationship that maintains a constant ratio between two variable quantitiesx increases in direct proportion to y
  7. maths a relationship between four numbers or quantities in which the ratio of the first pair equals the ratio of the second pair
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verb (tr)
  1. to adjust in relative amount, size, etc
  2. to cause to be harmonious in relationship of parts
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Derived Formsproportionable, adjectiveproportionability, nounproportionably, adverbproportionment, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Latin prōportiō (a translation of Greek analogia), from phrase prō portione, literally: for (its, his, one's) portion
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

Word Origin and History for proportion

n.

late 14c., "due relation of one part to another," also "size, extent; compartative relation in size, degree, number, etc.," from Old French proporcion "measure, proportion" (13c.), from Latin proportionem (nominative proportio) "comparative relation, analogy," from phrase pro portione "according to the relation" (of parts to each other), from pro "for" (see pro-) + ablative of *partio "division," related to pars (see part (n.)). Phrase out of proportion attested by 1670s.

My fortunes [are] as ill proportioned as your legs. [John Marston, "Antonio and Mellida," 1602]
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v.

"to adjust or regulate the proportions of," late 14c., from proportion (n.) and in part from Middle French proporcioner and directly from Medieval Latin proportionare. Related: Proportioned; proportioning.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

proportion in Science

proportion

[prə-pôrshən]
  1. A statement of equality between two ratios. Four quantities, a, b, c, and d, are said to be in proportion if ab = cd.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with proportion

proportion

see out of proportion.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.