[ adjective pruh-pawr-shuh-nit, -pohr-; verb pruh-pawr-shuh-neyt, -pohr- ]
/ adjective pr蓹藞p蓴r 蕛蓹 n瑟t, -藞po蕣r-; verb pr蓹藞p蓴r 蕛蓹藢ne瑟t, -藞po蕣r- /
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verb (used with object), pro路por路tion路at路ed, pro路por路tion路at路ing.
to make proportionate.
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Origin of proportionate

1350鈥1400; Middle English proporcionate<Late Latin pr艒porti艒n膩tus.See proportion, -ate1

OTHER WORDS FROM proportionate


proportional, proportionate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does聽porportionate mean?

Proportionate is most generally used to describe different things (or different elements of the same thing) that are considered to be properly balanced in some way.

In other words, it鈥檚 used to describe things that are said to match in terms of proportions鈥攖he relation between different parts, or their relative size or amount.

The word proportional is a close synonym that can often be used to mean the same thing.

Describing things as proportionate doesn鈥檛 necessarily mean they are exactly the same (in size, amount, etc.). Instead, it typically means they are matched or balanced according to what鈥檚 thought to be a proper or ideal ratio, or according to real-life dimensions, or in some other way considered appropriate.

In some cases, describing something as proportionate is the same as saying that it鈥檚 properly proportioned鈥攖hat it has the proper dimensions or dimensional ratio.

For example, artists often study so that they can draw proportionate representations of the human body in which the body has the same proportions that it does in real life.

The word can also be applied to intangible things. In military conflicts, a proportionate response is one that is thought to match the level of force of the action that preceded it. In law, the word is often used to describe consequences in relation to committing an illegal act鈥攁 sentence is supposed to be proportionate to the crime.

The opposite, disproportionate, is used to describe things whose proportions are not even or do not match. For example, a drawing of a person with a normal-sized body but an unusually large head could be described as disproportionate because it doesn鈥檛 correspond to the average dimensions of a real body.

Less commonly, proportionate is used as a verb meaning to make things proportionate (balanced or matching in such a way).

Example: I was raised to believe that success is proportionate to hard work.

Where does聽porportionate come from?

The first records of the term proportionate come from the 1300s. The base word, proportion, comes from a Latin word meaning 鈥渟ymmetry鈥 or 鈥渁nalogy.鈥 The root portion means 鈥減art.鈥 The suffix -ate is added to nouns to create adjectives.

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What are some other forms related to proportionate?

  • proportionately (adverb)
  • disproportionate (adjective)
  • nonproportionate (adjective)
  • nonproportionately (adverb)

What are some synonyms for proportionate?

What are some words that share a root or word element with proportionate?

What are some words that often get used in discussing proportionate?

How is聽porportionate used in real life?

Proportionate can be used in any context. It鈥檚 often applied in relation to size, amount, or dimensions, but it鈥檚 also commonly applied to intangible things.



Try using聽porportionate!

Is proportionate used correctly in the following sentence?

Sending someone to jail for life is not a proportionate punishment for stealing a loaf of bread.

How to use proportionate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for proportionate


adjective (pr蓹藞p蓴藧蕛蓹n瑟t)
being in proper proportion
verb (pr蓹藞p蓴藧蕛蓹藢ne瑟t)
(tr) to make proportionate

Derived forms of proportionate

proportionately, adverbproportionateness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012