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[pruh-pen-si-tee] /prəˈpɛn sɪ ti/
noun, plural propensities.
a natural inclination or tendency:
a propensity to drink too much.
Obsolete. favorable disposition or partiality.
Origin of propensity
1560-70; propense + -ity
1. bent, leaning, disposition, penchant, proclivity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for propensity
  • Apart from a propensity to pounce on prey, cats' aloof elegance has long made them the choice for animal companionship.
  • But odder still is the coyote's propensity for breeding with wolves.
  • In his journal he wrote that he was not bothered by the residents' propensity for cannibalism.
  • Educators have mixed feelings about this propensity to cluster together.
  • For some reason they get into problems and seem to blame their life on this propensity for having trouble.
  • Even though the unhappy propensity to see each meeting as a farewell is becoming a real disease.
  • In this last respect, to tell the truth, he has a propensity to be somewhat too ready.
  • When you wreak that much havoc, one has to put a check on one's propensity to see the good in people.
  • Instead, kids start with a strong, powerful propensity to believe all of these things.
  • To watch: the correspondence between presidential approval and one's propensity to vote.
British Dictionary definitions for propensity


noun (pl) -ties
a natural tendency or disposition
(obsolete) partiality
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
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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
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