9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[per-sen-tij] /pərˈsɛn tɪdʒ/
a rate or proportion per hundred.
an allowance, commission, or rate of interest calculated by percent.
a proportion in general:
Only a small percentage of the class will graduate with honors.
gain; benefit; profit; advantage.
Origin of percentage
1780-90; percent + -age
Related forms
percentaged, adjective
Can be confused
percent, percentage, percentile (see usage note at percent)
Usage note
See percent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for percentage
  • But these investors were paid two to three percentage points more in interest to take the risk.
  • Then cook as directed until it has reduced by the percentage specified.
  • Responsible for the largest percentage of commercially available fish.
  • Don't over-do it on the scratch because it will throw off the percentage of protein they need in their diet.
  • Rhubarb contains such a large percentage of water that but little additional water is needed.
  • Pork contains the largest percentage of fat of any meat.
  • Fortunately they are but a small percentage of our people.
  • To each item that appeared last year, managers would add a certain percentage.
  • But even those folks are a small percentage of the population.
  • In that market, the for-profit-college share has increased by seven percentage points in a decade.
British Dictionary definitions for percentage


proportion or rate per hundred parts
(commerce) the interest, tax, commission, or allowance on a hundred items
any proportion in relation to the whole
(informal) profit or advantage
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
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Word Origin and History for percentage

1789, from percent + -age. Sense of "profit, advantage" is from 1862.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for percentage



Profit or advantage: I don't see any percentage in doing it that way (1862+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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