1 part/share of a whole
ADJ. appreciable, considerable, fair, good, great, high, huge, large, overwhelming, significant, sizeable, substantial | reasonable | low, small | minute, negligible, tiny | certain | equal The company employs men and women in roughly equal proportions. | equivalent, similar | different, differing, varying | fixed | exact | approximate | average | overall | growing, increasing, rising | declining, decreasing, diminishing
VERB + PROPORTION express sth as The chart shows government spending expressed as a proportion of national income. | grow as, increase as, rise as | decline as, decrease as, diminish as, fall as The unskilled section of the working class was diminishing as a proportion of the workforce.
PROPORTION + VERB grow, increase, rise | decline, decrease, fall
2 relationship between the size/amount of two things
ADJ. correct | direct | inverse The human population in the region is expanding in inverse proportion to the wildlife. | relative
VERB + PROPORTION keep sth in Try to keep your view of the situation in proportion (= not think it is more serious than it is).
PREP. in ~ (to) The cost of insurance increases in proportion to the performance of the car. | out of ~ (to) The costs of the plan are out of proportion to the budget available. | ~ of sth to sth The proportion of sand to cement used was three to one.
PHRASES out of all proportion The problem has been exaggerated out of all proportion. | a sense of proportion Try to keep a sense of proportion (= of the relative importance of different things).
3 proportions: size and shape of sth
ADJ. enormous, epic, extraordinary, gargantuan, generous, gigantic, heroic, huge, immense, major, mammoth, massive, monumental, staggering | modest | manageable, unmanageable The computer brings the huge task of stock control down to more manageable proportions. | alarming | crisis, epidemic | classic, elegant, fine, noble, perfect There is an entrance hall of perfect proportions, twice as long as it is wide. | bodily
VERB + PROPORTION reach The food shortage had reached crisis proportions.