Proportion is about balance and how things fit together harmoniously. For example "That hound dog's tiny legs look out of proportion to that big fat body."

The prefix comes from the Latin pro meaning "on behalf of, for." If you're Proportion likes portions, and for them to be the right size. The cake's sweetness is in direct proportion to how much sugar you put in. It's a compliment to tell someone he or she has just the right proportions, but you might get slapped. It can also be a part of something, as in a significant proportion of our student body has dyed their hair purple.

Definitions of proportion

n the relation between things (or parts of things) with respect to their comparative quantity, magnitude, or degree

“an inordinate proportion of the book is given over to quotations”
“a dry martini has a large proportion of gin”
Type of:
magnitude relation, quantitative relation
a relation between magnitudes

n the quotient obtained when the magnitude of a part is divided by the magnitude of the whole

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case-fatality proportion
the number of cases of a disease ending in death divided by the number of cases of the disease; usually expressed as a percentage or as the number of deaths per 1000 cases
case-to-infection proportion, case-to-infection ratio
the number of cases of a disease divided by the number of infections with the agent that causes the disease
the proportion of a substance that is contained in a mixture or alloy etc.
a quantity or amount or measure considered as a proportion of another quantity or amount or measure
the ratio between the size of something and a representation of it
golden mean, golden section
the proportional relation between two divisions of line or two dimension of a plane figure such that short : long :: long : (short + long)
pct, per centum, percent, percentage
a proportion in relation to a whole (which is usually the amount per hundred)
batting average
(an extension of the baseball term) the proportion of times some effort succeeds
absentee rate
the percentage of workers who do not report to work
occupancy rate
the percentage of all rental units (as in hotels) are occupied or rented at a given time
vacancy rate
the percentage of all rental units (as in hotels) that are unoccupied or not rented at a given time
unemployment rate
the percentage of the work force that is unemployed at any given date
Type of:
the ratio of two quantities to be divided

n balance among the parts of something

lack of proportion; imbalance among the parts of something
Type of:
balance, counterbalance, equilibrium, equipoise
equality of distribution

n harmonious arrangement or relation of parts or elements within a whole (as in a design)

balance, proportionality
Type of:
arrangement, placement
the spatial property of the way in which something is placed

n magnitude or extent

“a building of vast proportions
Type of:
the property of relative size or extent (whether large or small)

v adjust in size relative to other things

scale down
reduce proportionally
scale up
increase proportionally
Type of:
adjust, correct, set
alter or regulate so as to achieve accuracy or conform to a standard

v give pleasant proportions to

Type of:
harmonise, harmonize
bring (several things) into consonance or relate harmoniously

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