noun, plural pro·pen·si·ties.

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

Synonyms for propensity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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

a natural tendency or disposition
obsolete partiality

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper