1) N-COUNT: usu sing, usu N of n A proportion of a group or an amount is a part of it. [FORMAL]

A large proportion of the dolphins in that area will eventually die...

A proportion of the rent is met by the city council.

2) N-COUNT: usu sing, usu N of n The proportion of one kind of person or thing in a group is the number of people or things of that kind compared to the total number of people or things in the group.

The proportion of women in the profession had risen to 17.3%...

The radio station has to include a substantial proportion of classical music.

3) N-COUNT: oft N of n to n The proportion of one amount to another is the relationship between the two amounts in terms of how much there is of each thing.

Women's bodies tend to have a higher proportion of fat to water.

4) N-PLURAL: usu supp N If you refer to the proportions of something, you are referring to its size, usually when this is extremely large. [WRITTEN]

In the tropics plants grow to huge proportions.

...a fraud of breathtaking proportions.

5) N-PLURAL If you refer to the proportions in a work of art or design, you are referring to the relative sizes of its different parts.

You can vary the relative proportions of things in a picture very simply.

6) PHR-PREP If one thing increases or decreases in proportion to another thing, it increases or decreases to the same degree as that thing.

The pressure in the cylinders would go up in proportion to the boiler pressure.

7) PHR-PREP If something is small or large in proportion to something else, it is small or large when compared with that thing.

Children tend to have relatively larger heads than adults in proportion to the rest of their body.

in relation to
8) PHR-PREP: usu v-link PREP If you say that something is out of all proportion to something else, you think that it is far greater or more serious than it should be.

The punishment was out of all proportion to the crime.

commensurate with
9) PHRASE: PHR after v If you get something out of proportion, you think it is more important or worrying than it really is. If you keep something in proportion, you have a realistic view of how important it is.

Everything just got blown out of proportion...

We've got to keep this in proportion.

10) PHRASE If someone has a sense of proportion, they know what is really important and what is not.

We must not lose our sense of proportion.

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • proportion — UK US /prəˈpɔːʃən/ noun ► [C] the number or amount of part of something when compared to the whole: boost/increase the proportion of sth »He pledged to boost the group s proportion of home sales from 5% to 10%. as a proportion of sth »Last year,… …   Financial and business terms

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  • Proportion — (v. lat.), 1) Verhältniß; 2) Verhältnißmäßigkeit, Ebenmaß; 3) Proportion des menschlichen Körpers, die Normalgrößen, welche einzelne Theile in Bezug zu den übrigen haben, worauf bes. die Gefälligkeit der äußeren Bildung beruht. Außer den Gesetzen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Proportion — Pro*por tion, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Proportioned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Proportioning}.] [Cf. F. proportionner. Cf. {Proportionate}, v.] 1. To adjust in a suitable proportion, as one thing or one part to another; as, to proportion the size of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • proportion — ► NOUN 1) a part, share, or number considered in relation to a whole. 2) the ratio of one thing to another. 3) the correct or pleasing relation of things or between the parts of a whole. 4) (proportions) dimensions; size. ► VERB formal ▪ adjust… …   English terms dictionary

  • Proportion — Sf Verhältnis erw. fach. (15. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. proportio, zusammengebildet aus l. prō portione je nach Anteil . Adjektiv: proportional. Moderne Kürzung (schwz., österr.) Proporz.    Ebenso nndl. proportie, ne. proportion, nfrz.… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

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