From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishproportionpro‧por‧tion1 /prəˈpɔːʃən $ -ˈpɔːr-/ ●●○ W2 AWL noun 1 part of something [countable usually singular]HMNPART a part of a number or an amount, considered in relation to the wholeproportion of The proportion of women graduates has increased in recent years. Every parent is asked to contribute a proportion of the total cost.high/large/small etc proportion The decision affects a significant proportion of the population. Although the majority of offenders are men, a small proportion – about five percent – are women.► see thesaurus at amount• In this meaning, proportion is usually followed by a singular verb: A small proportion disagrees.• In British English, you can also use a plural verb: A small proportion disagree.2 relationship [countable, uncountable]AMOUNT the relationship between two things in size, amount, importance etcthe proportion of something to something What’s the proportion of boys to girls in your class?in proportion to something The rewards you get in this job are in direct proportion to the effort you put in.3 correct scale [uncountable] the correct or most suitable relationship between the size, shape, or position of the different parts of something Builders must learn about scale and proportion.in proportion Reduce the drawing so that all the elements stay in proportion.in proportion to something Her feet are small in proportion to her height.out of proportion with something The porch is out of proportion with (=too big or too small when compared with) the rest of the house.4 → proportions5 → out of (all) proportion6 → keep something in proportion7 → sense of proportion8 mathematics [uncountable] technicalHMN equality in the mathematical relationship between two sets of numbers, as in the statement ‘8 is to 6 as 32 is to 24’ → ratioCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 4: ADJECTIVES/NOUN + proportionsenormous/massive/gigantic etc proportionsThe company is heading towards a disaster of enormous proportions.epidemic proportions (=very great size, especially in a particular place)Shoplifting has reached epidemic proportions.epic proportions (=very great size or importance)An argument of epic proportions had ensued.mythic proportions (=a size or importance that seems almost unreal)Achieving this was a feat of mythic proportions.historic proportions (=a size or importance that only rarely happens)We were trapped for three days by a blizzard of historic proportions.crisis proportions (=a size that causes very serious problems)The water shortage was reaching crisis proportions.manageable proportions (=a size that is easy to deal with)First, narrow the choice down to more manageable proportions.verbsreach epidemic etc proportionsAlcohol abuse has reached epidemic proportions in this country.grow to enormous etc proportionsThe fish grows to gigantic proportions.assume epidemic etc proportions formal (=become or seem very great)Unless you deal with it quickly, the damage may assume serious proportions.reduce something to manageable etc proportionsThe disease had been reduced to negligible proportions by vaccination.
Examples from the Corpusproportion• Already the hyperbole was out of all proportion compared to the evidence.• Architects must learn about scale and proportion.• The most desirable proportion of height to length being 9 to 10.• The new jobs would largely be unskilled and a high proportion would be in inner city areas.• Yves Rocher Dynamic Corp Bio-Vegetal range includes gel, tonics and creams all with a high proportion of sea algae.• A high proportion of the products tested were found to contain harmful chemicals.• A significant proportion of the elderly are dependent on the basic state pension.• We get a small proportion of our funding from the government.• Seventy-five percent of California's immigrants are foreign-born, and that proportion is likely to increase.• a program to increase the proportion of women and black people in the police service• Severing the umbilical cord between landlords and peasants vastly increased the proportion of the population for which the centre was directly responsible.• What is the proportion of men to women in your office?• The new law is intended to reduce the proportion of road accidents caused by drunk drivers.• Ratios between two proportions are not, however, regularly used in analysing contingency tables.• It will automatically calculate, for example, what proportion of your income goes on things like the car and household items.• What proportion have neither one, nor both parents as members of the church?• What proportion of your income do you spend on food?high/large/small etc proportion• These figures are produced by a combination of younger marriages and a higher proportion of women marrying.• A general authority source is one that has substantial influence on a large proportion of people in a society.• Wealthy people paid a large proportion of the taxes, however, and there was a levelling upwards of income.• Thus participation in sport is increasing due to a higher proportion of the adult population taking part in at least one activity.• A high proportion of the rewards package is linked to performance, via a share in the profits on successful investments.• The mass is politically apathetic and impotent, and policy is imposed upon this large proportion of the population.• Moreover, the data suggest that Baumol-type models can account for only a very small proportion of total transactions balances.• These averages are dictated largely by the very high proportion of volunteers that operate at club level.in direct proportion to• Latin temperaments rose in exasperation in direct proportion to their owners' frustration.• Faith's value, some even suggest, grows in direct proportion to its lack of a rational basis.• And as the country got wilder, the population grew thinner and loveliness increased in direct proportion to danger.• Could it be that Europeanism is in direct proportion to dissatisfaction with one's own political institutions?• The value of higher education, on this view, is in direct proportion to the critical capacities of its graduates.• A spinning cylinder generates lift in direct proportion to the acceleration it imparts on the air streaming by.• This indicates that ferritin is released into the serum normally in direct proportion to the amount stored in tissues.• Most commonly, the graphic distance was simply not in direct proportion to the numerical values represented.out of proportion with something• I felt out of proportion with a short bob and, although striking, it was too neat and tidy for me.proportionproportion2 verb [transitive] formal to put something in a particular relationship with something else according to their relative size, amount, position etcbe proportioned to something The amount of damages awarded are proportioned to the degree of injury caused.Grammar Proportion is usually passive.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusproportion• All storing is performed in the base port once a week with most meats being proportioned.• So long as he was solvent in law, he could not proportion his payments to creditors according to their respective debts.• Both are moved along at the same speed and in the same direction by the proportioning pump.• It provides that such damages can be awarded as are proportioned to the injury resulting from the death to the dependants respectively.be proportioned to something• Farmers pay a small amount for use of the pasture, proportioned to the number of animals grazed there.Origin proportion1 (1300-1400) Old French Latin proportio, from portio; → PORTION1