View synonyms for ratio


[ rey-shoh, -shee-oh ]


, plural ra·tios.
  1. the relation between two similar magnitudes with respect to the number of times the first contains the second:

    the ratio of 5 to 2, written 5:2 or 5/2.

  2. proportional relation; rate:

    the ratio between acceptances and rejections.

  3. Finance. the relative value of gold and silver in a bimetallic currency system.
  4. Sometimes the ratio. (on Twitter) the proportion of replies to a tweet compared to the combined number of retweets and likes, where a high ratio usually indicates a barrage of negative replies: LOL, then I added the reply, “Don't mind me, I'm just here for the ratio.”

    How is the Twitter ratio any different from other kinds of outraged cybermobs?

    LOL, then I added the reply, “Don't mind me, I'm just here for the ratio.”

verb (used with object)

, ra·tioed or ra·tio'd, ra·tio·ing.
  1. (on Twitter) to flood (a tweet or its author) with negative replies such that commenters as a group take control of the momentum and message away from the original poster:

    Political pundits trying to write provocative and edgy tweets are going to get ratioed sooner or later.


/ ˈreɪʃɪˌəʊ /


  1. a measure of the relative size of two classes expressible as a proportion

    the ratio of boys to girls is 2 to 1

  2. maths a quotient of two numbers or quantities See also proportion


/ shō,rāshē-ō′ /

  1. A relationship between two quantities, normally expressed as the quotient of one divided by the other. For example, if a box contains six red marbles and four blue marbles, the ratio of red marbles to blue marbles is 6 to 4, also written 6:4. A ratio can also be expressed as a decimal or percentage.


  1. An expression of the relative size of two numbers by showing one divided by the other.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of ratio1

First recorded in 1630–40; from Latin ratiō “reckoning, account, calculation,” equivalent to rat-, past participle of rērī “to believe, think, imagine” + -iō, noun suffix from verb stems; -tion

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Word History and Origins

Origin of ratio1

C17: from Latin: a reckoning, from rērī to think; see reason

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Example Sentences

The graph represents the ratio of the number of times that word was searched relative to the total number of all searches during that time.

Other houses in the city show a similar ratio, with animals a far more popular subject than humans of all types.

They just want to spout statistics about student-faculty ratio and class sizes to you.

From Time

Neither team is expected to run the ball all that much, as both are pretty much 60-to-40 in their pass-to run ratios.

That ratio could hit 180% by 2050, by far the highest debt burden the US has ever had.

From Quartz

Carlisle writes that the Air Force would want a crew ratio of 10 to one for each drone orbit during normal everyday operations.

During an emergency that ratio could be allowed to drop to 8.5 people per orbit.

However, the Air Force is so strapped for people that the ratio has dropped below even that reduced level.

The Italian navy tweeted regular updates of the saved-to-stranded passenger ratio.

From that, they extracted the ratio of the number of deuterium atoms to the number of hydrogen atoms.

The fervor of an Englishman's loyalty is usually in a direct ratio with the extent of his material possessions.

This ratio constitutes one of the most important points in diagnosis, since it is practically unknown in other diseases.

The service is practically the same, but the ratio of charges is from two to three times higher in the coffee room.

Four hundred thousand pounds probably bore as great a ratio to the wealth of Scotland then as forty millions would bear now.

It was soon found that with plate webs the ratio of depth to span could not be economically increased beyond 1/15 to 1/12.


Related Words

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About This Word

What else does ratio mean?

On the social media platform Twitter, a ratio, or getting ratioed, is when replies to a tweet vastly outnumber likes or retweets. This means people are objecting to the tweet and considering its content bad.

Where does ratio come from?

You might remember from math class that a ratio is a proportional relationship between two numbers. For example, if I have two carrots for every one apple, my carrot-to-apple ratio is 2:1, or 2/1 as a fraction.

In the Twittersphere, a ratio specifically refers to the number of replies to a tweet versus the number of likes and retweets. The importance of this ratio was first called out by user @85mf, who noted on March 7, 2017 that U.S. congressman Jason Chaffetz had a tweet with 701 replies and only 23 retweets and 108 likes. @85mf commented: “Nothing on this site makes me happier than reply-to-RT ratios like this. That is the ratio of someone who fuuuuu***d up.”

In April 2017, an article in Esquire, “How to Know If You’ve Sent a Horrible Tweet: A Deep Dive into The Ratio,” gave a longer description of this phenomenon. Essentially, showing you like something on Twitter is easy: You simply like or retweet the comment. It takes more effort, however, to leave a negative comment, so, if lots of people do so, then it must be a sign the tweet has really stepped in it. By fall 2017, the noun ratio had been verbed, as in I’ve been ratioed or Let’s ratio this guy.

Before Twitter analytics became a thing, having something that was well-ratioed, like ingredients on a sandwich, meant it was well-proportioned. But since 2017, there is little positive about being ratioed. It means your tweet has been taken down by the hive mind.

How is ratio used in real life?

Ratios are obviously found all over math and science and their uncountable real-world applications, where it’s just another way of expressing the proportional relationship between two numbers.

But on social media, a ratio refers specifically to this relationship between comments, retweets, and likes, and it implies a post is objectionable.

While it started on Twitter and is most commonly found there, users’ posts can be ratioed on nearly any social media platform, including Reddit and Instagram.

The definition has also expanded to refer to the ratio of the number of people a user follows based on how many people follow them—a sign of internet popularity as well (or lack thereof).

Getting ratioed on Twitter has become such a trend that it’s spawned its own hashtag, #ratioed, which salty tweeters use to note particularly unpopular tweets.

In the gaming world, your ratio more likely refers to your k/d ratio—your kill-to-death ratio, meaning how many players you’ve killed versus how many times you’ve been killed.

More examples of ratio:

“It’s widely considered that if you have a ratio of 2:1 for replies to retweets, you’ve done something wrong. So if your ratio gets higher than that, you know you’re in trouble.”
—Rachel Hosie, The Independent (UK), April 2017


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.




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