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See more synonyms for propensity on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural pro·pen·si·ties.
  1. a natural inclination or tendency: a propensity to drink too much.
  2. Obsolete. favorable disposition or partiality.
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Origin of propensity

First recorded in 1560–70; propense + -ity

Synonyms for propensity

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for propensity

susceptibility, penchant, proclivity, predisposition, bias, disposition, leaning, predilection, tendency, capacity, bent, yen, tilt, flash, partiality, liability, thing, talent, aptness, competence

Examples from the Web for propensity

Contemporary Examples of propensity

Historical Examples of propensity

  • 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.


    Joseph Conrad

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

British Dictionary definitions for propensity


noun plural -ties
  1. a natural tendency or disposition
  2. obsolete partiality
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Word Origin for propensity

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

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper