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proportion

[pruh-pawr-shuh n, -pohr-] /prəˈpɔr ʃən, -ˈpoʊr-/
noun
1.
comparative relation between things or magnitudes as to size, quantity, number, etc.; ratio.
2.
proper relation between things or parts:
to have tastes way out of proportion to one's financial means.
3.
relative size or extent.
4.
proportions, dimensions or size:
a rock of gigantic proportions.
5.
a portion or part in its relation to the whole:
A large proportion of the debt remains.
6.
symmetry, harmony, or balance:
an architect with a sense of proportion.
7.
the significance of a thing or event that an objective view reveals:
You must try to see these mishaps in proportion.
8.
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.
9.
Archaic. analogy; comparison.
verb (used with object)
10.
to adjust in proper proportion or relation, as to size, quantity, etc.
11.
to balance or harmonize the proportions of.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English proporcio(u)n < Latin prōportiōn- (stem of prōportiō) symmetry, analogy. See pro-1, portion
Related forms
proportioner, noun
proportionless, adjective
misproportion, noun
reproportion, verb (used with object)
superproportion, noun
Synonyms
1. comparison. 5. share. 6. distribution, arrangement. See symmetry. 10. regulate, arrange, balance, harmonize.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for proportion
  • 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 used.
  • In other words: the size of the brain in proportion to the size of the body.
  • Physician income has risen out of proportion to other professions, without any real increase in relative education or value.
  • The external jugular vein varies in size, bearing an inverse proportion to the other veins of the neck, it is occasionally double.
  • The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive.
  • All that it has to offer isn't proportion to its population.
  • Poor drainage, so that the ubiquitous storms create floods of biblical proportion.
British Dictionary definitions for proportion

proportion

/prəˈpɔːʃən/
noun
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.
(pl) 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
verb (transitive)
8.
to adjust in relative amount, size, etc
9.
to cause to be harmonious in relationship of parts
Derived Forms
proportionable, adjective
proportionability, noun
proportionably, adverb
proportionment, noun
Word Origin
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 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 proportion
n.

late 14c., "due relation of one part to another," also "size, extent; compartative relation in size, degree, number, etc.," from Old French proporcion "measure, proportion" (13c.), from Latin proportionem (nominative proportio) "comparative relation, analogy," from phrase pro portione "according to the relation" (of parts to each other), from pro "for" (see pro-) + ablative of *partio "division," related to pars (see part (n.)). Phrase out of proportion attested by 1670s.

My fortunes [are] as ill proportioned as your legs. [John Marston, "Antonio and Mellida," 1602]

v.

"to adjust or regulate the proportions of," late 14c., from proportion (n.) and in part from Middle French proporcioner and directly from Medieval Latin proportionare. Related: Proportioned; proportioning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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proportion in Science
proportion
  (prə-pôr'shən)   
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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Idioms and Phrases with proportion

proportion

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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