Definition of percentage in English:

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Pronunciation: /pərˈsen(t)ij/


1A rate, number, or amount in each hundred: the percentage of cesareans at the hospital was three percent higher than the national average [as modifier]: a large percentage increase in the population over 85
More example sentences
  • It would also help children with blood diseases such as leukaemia, and would hopefully increase the survival percentage rate.
  • The rate reverts to an annualised percentage rate of 16.9 per cent after six months.
  • He expects the bank to lower its main rate by half a percentage point to 2 percent next month.
1.1An amount, such as an allowance or commission, that is a proportion of a larger sum of money: I hope to be on a percentage
1.2Any proportion or share in relation to a whole: only a small percentage of black Americans have Caribbean roots
More example sentences
  • There is a big corporate market for the championships, but their percentage of the whole audience is quite tiny.
  • I bet if a referendum were called for, the percentage of the whole population would be nearly the same as that in the survey.
  • There may be a small percentage that comes back, but a station does not usually get back the whole percentage that was lost.
1.3 [in singular] informal Personal benefit or advantage: you explain to me the percentage in looking like a hoodlum


play the percentages (or the percentage game)

informal Choose a safe and methodical course of action when calculating the odds in favor of success.
Referring to the calculated percentage of success from statistics
Example sentences
  • I'm quite a percentage kind of person and I play the percentages in pretty much everything I do.
  • Not for him playing the percentages, patting the ball round and favouring the cautious above the cavalier.
  • Of course, not many people play the percentages as well as that so the casino still makes a nice profit at blackjack.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: per·cent·age

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