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propensity

[pruh-pen-si-tee]
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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

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1. bent, leaning, disposition, penchant, proclivity.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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?


British Dictionary definitions for propensity

propensity

noun plural -ties
  1. a natural tendency or disposition
  2. obsolete partiality
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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

Word Origin and History for propensity

n.

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