[pruh-pawr-shuhn, -pohr-]
comparative relation between things or magnitudes as to size, quantity, number, etc.; ratio.
proper relation between things or parts: to have tastes way out of proportion to one's financial means.
relative size or extent.
proportions, dimensions or size: a rock of gigantic proportions.
a portion or part in its relation to the whole: A large proportion of the debt remains.
symmetry, harmony, or balance: an architect with a sense of proportion.
the significance of a thing or event that an objective view reveals: You must try to see these mishaps in proportion.
Mathematics. a relation of four quantities such that the first divided by the second is equal to the third divided by the fourth; the equality of ratios. Compare rule of three.
Archaic. analogy; comparison.
verb (used with object)
to adjust in proper proportion or relation, as to size, quantity, etc.
to balance or harmonize the proportions of.

1350–1400; Middle English proporcio(u)n < Latin prōportiōn- (stem of prōportiō) symmetry, analogy. See pro-1, portion

proportioner, noun
proportionless, adjective
misproportion, noun
reproportion, verb (used with object)
superproportion, noun

1. comparison. 5. share. 6. distribution, arrangement. See symmetry. 10. regulate, arrange, balance, harmonize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
proportion (prəˈpɔːʃən)
1.  the relationship between different things or parts with respect to comparative size, number, or degree; relative magnitude or extent; ratio
2.  the correct or desirable relationship between parts of a whole; balance or symmetry
3.  a part considered with respect to the whole
4.  (plural) dimensions or size: a building of vast proportions
5.  a share, part, or quota
6.  maths a relationship that maintains a constant ratio between two variable quantities: x increases in direct proportion to y
7.  maths a relationship between four numbers or quantities in which the ratio of the first pair equals the ratio of the second pair
8.  to adjust in relative amount, size, etc
9.  to cause to be harmonious in relationship of parts
[C14: from Latin prōportiō (a translation of Greek analogia), from phrase prō portione, literally: for (its, his, one's) portion]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "due relation of one part to another," also "size or extent," from O.Fr. proportion (13c.), from L. proportionem (nom. proportio) "comparative relation, analogy," from phrase pro portione "according to the relation" (of parts to each other), from pro "for" + abl. of *partio "division," related
to pars (see part). The verb "to adjust or regulate the proportions of" is attested from late 14c. Phrase out of proportion first attested 1710.
"My fortunes [are] as ill proportioned as your legs." [John Marston, "Antonio and Mellida," 1602]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
proportion   (prə-pôr'shən)  Pronunciation Key 
A statement of equality between two ratios. Four quantities, a, b, c, and d, are said to be in proportion if a/b = c/d .
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see out of proportion.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The paradox of pickerel fishing is that a pickerel's culinary quality is in
  inverse proportion to its size.
It has always possessed a sense of dignity out of all proportion to its size.
Archaeopteryx's brain was smaller, in proportion to its body size, than the
  average bird brain today.
The amount of power generated increased in proportion to the number of droplets
Idioms & Phrases
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