Definition of proportional in English:

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Pronunciation: /prəˈpôrSH(ə)n(ə)l/


1Corresponding in size or amount to something else: the punishment should be proportional to the crime
More example sentences
  • The amounts produced are proportional to the size of the gland, whether this is increased benignly or by prostate cancer.
  • As such the amount paid in fees, proportional to the amount under management, has continued to increase.
  • The amount of tiles left out will be proportional to the size of the tile.
1.1 Mathematics (Of a variable quantity) having a constant ratio to another quantity.
Example sentences
  • The ratio of the squares of the periods of two planets is directly proportional to the ratio of the cubes of the radii of their orbits.
  • Gravitational force is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between two objects.
  • Instead the heat is inversely proportional to the square of the distance.


Except in certain long-established phrases, such as proportional representation, the adjectives proportional and proportionate may be used interchangeably.


Late Middle English: from late Latin proportionalis, from proportio(n-) (see proportion).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pro·por·tion·al

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