Definition of disproportion in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /dɪsprəˈpɔːʃ(ə)n/


An instance of being out of proportion with something else: there is a disproportion between the scale of expenditure and any benefit that could possibly result [mass noun]: women undergoing caesarean section because of feto-pelvic disproportion
More example sentences
  • But in the case of China and Taiwan, the disproportion in scale of population and power between the mainland and the island is enormous.
  • The monumentality of the study is accentuated by the deliberate disproportion in scale: the soaring high windows contrast with the heavy low furnishings.
  • In a number of Adès's works there is a curious disproportion between the scale of the music's emotional impact and the amount of time it takes to achieve that impact.



Pronunciation: /dɪsprəˈpɔːʃ(ə)n(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • There has been no government questioning of the enormously disproportional rate of casualties.
  • The Commission also warns that an increase in spending limits could lead to a disproportional advantage at the polling booths for larger and better-resourced parties.
  • And this has been especially so in elite circles that have a disproportional impact on law, policy, culture, and even public opinion.


Pronunciation: /dɪsprəˌpɔːʃ(ə)nˈalɪti/
Example sentences
  • In the absence of any significant counterbalancing input, that disproportionality is not recognized as such, thus further compounding the magnitude of their message.
  • We do not see racial and class disproportionality in prisons as something that can be corrected within the prison system, as if disproportionality is just a bump in an otherwise functional road.
  • The level of disproportionality that has been shown, I would suggest, needs an awful lot of emotion, a lot of involvement, an awful lot of talking and articulating in respect of feelings and fears.


Example sentences
  • The final reason that proportional representation feels disproportionally unrepresentative is that there's an acute gender and generational imbalance.
  • They make a lot of noise, disproportionally so and it is effective.
  • This group would also on average pay less local taxation - which disproportionally hits home-owning people on pensions.


Mid 16th century: from dis- (expressing absence) + proportion, on the pattern of French disproportion.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dis|pro¦por|tion

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.