SKIP TO CONTENT

propensity

A propensity is a natural tendency to behave in a certain way. We all have propensities — things we tend to do. Dogs have a propensity to bark, and many people have a propensity for getting annoyed by it.

If you have a propensity for something, then it's something that comes naturally to you or something you just do a lot. Some people have a propensity to laugh. Other people have a propensity for making others laugh, or for being generous, or for getting angry. It's hard to change your propensities. Sometimes a propensity is a bad thing, as in a criminal with a propensity for theft or murder.

Definitions of propensity
  1. noun
    a natural inclination
    synonyms: leaning, proclivity
    see moresee less
    type of:
    disposition, inclination, tendency
    an attitude of mind especially one that favors one alternative over others
  2. noun
    an inclination to do something
    synonyms: leaning, tendency
    see moresee less
    type of:
    inclination
    that toward which you are inclined to feel a liking
  3. noun
    a disposition to behave in a certain way
    “the propensity of disease to spread”
    synonyms: aptness
    see moresee less
    type of:
    disposition
    a natural or acquired habit or characteristic tendency in a person or thing
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week