9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pruh-pawr-shuh-nl, -pohr-] /prəˈpɔr ʃə nl, -ˈpoʊr-/
having due proportion; corresponding.
being in or characterized by proportion.
of, relating to, or based on proportion; relative.
  1. (of two quantities) having the same or a constant ratio or relation:
    The quantities y and x are proportional if y/x = k, where k is the constant of proportionality.
  2. (of a first quantity with respect to a second quantity) a constant multiple of:
    The quantity y is proportional to x if y = kx, where k is the constant of proportionality.
Origin of proportional
1350-1400; Middle English proporcional < Latin prōportiōnālis. See proportion, -al1
Related forms
proportionality, noun
proportionally, adverb
interproportional, adjective
nonproportional, adjective
nonproportionally, adverb
subproportional, adjective
subproportionally, adverb
unproportional, adjective
unproportionally, adverb
Can be confused
proportional, proportionate.
1. harmonious, comparative, accordant, consonant, proportionate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for proportionally
  • The proportionally long necks of sauropods must have had some adaptive advantage for the trait to be so widespread and persistent.
  • The people that use the oil should pay for those protections proportionally.
  • Each subsequent years workforce pays more taxes and receives proportionally less benefits than the previous years.
  • First, energy use in industrialized countries id not growing proportionally to population.
  • There is nothing wrong with expecting those blessed with more wealth to contribute more proportionally.
  • Nevertheless, the current discharged into their smaller bodies is much larger proportionally.
  • At a certain point, each incremental gain in efficiency at a given skill requires proportionally more increments of effort.
  • But it gets worse because that decline is not shared proportionally.
  • Encourage creativity in others, and yours grows proportionally.
  • By proportionally weakening synapses, the brain ensures that they retain the same strength relative to each other.
British Dictionary definitions for proportionally


of, involving, or being in proportion
(maths) having or related by a constant ratio
(maths) an unknown term in a proportion: in a/b = c/x, x is the fourth proportional
Derived Forms
proportionality, noun
proportionally, adverb
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 proportionally



late 14c. (implied in proportionally), from Late Latin proportionalis "pertaining to proportions," from proportio (see proportion). Related: Proportionally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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