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PRO'PO-LIS, n. [Gr. before the city, or the front of the city.]

A thick odorous substance having some resemblance to wax and smelling like storax; used by bees to stop the holes and crevices in their hives to prevent the entrance of cold air, &c. Pliny represents it as the third coat; the first he calls commosis; the second pissoceros; the third, more solid than the others, he calls propolis. – Plin. Nat. Hist. This account of the propolis may not be perfectly correct, as authors do not agree in their descriptions of it.

PRO-PO'NENT, n. [L. proponens; pro and pono, to place.]

One that makes a proposal, or lays down a proposition. – Dryden.

PRO-POR'TION, n. [L. proportio; pro and portio, part or share. See Portion.]

  1. The comparative relation of any one thing to another. Let a man's exertions be in proportion to his strength.
  2. The identity or similitude of two ratios. Proportion differs from ratio. Ratio is the relation which determines the quantity of one thing from the quantity of another, without the intervention of a third. Thus the ratio of 5 and 10 is 2: the ratio of 8 and 16 is 2. Proportion is the sameness or likeness of two such relations. Thus 5 is to 10, as 8 to 16, or A. is to B., as C. is to D.; that is, 5 bears the same relation to 10, as 8 does to 16. Hence we say, such numbers are in proportion. – Encyc. Proportion in mathematics, an equality of ratios. – Day. The term proportion is sometimes improperly used for ratio. The ratio between two quantities, is expressed by the quotient of one divided by the other: thus, the ratio of 10 to 5 is 2, and the ratio of 16 to 8 is 2. These two equal ratios constitute a proportion, which is expressed by saying, 10 is to 5 as 16 is to 8; or more concisely, 10 : 5 : : 16 : 8. [See Ratio.] – D. Olmsted.
  3. In arithmetic, a rule by which, when three numbers are given, a fourth number is found, which bears the same relation to the third as the second does to the first; or a fourth number is found, bearing the same relation to the second as the first does to the third. The former is called direct, and the latter, inverse proportion.
  4. Symmetry; suitable adaptation of one part or thing to another; as, the proportion of one limb to another in the human body; the proportion of the length and breadth of a room to its highth. Harmony, with every grace, / Plays in the fair proportions of her face. – Mrs. Carter.
  5. Equal or just share; as, to ascertain the proportion of profit to which each partner in a company is entitled.
  6. Form; size. [Little used.] – Davies.
  7. The relation between unequal things of the same kind, by which their several parts correspond to each other with an equal augmentation and diminution, as in reducing and enlarging figures. Encyc. [This more properly belongs to ratio.] Harmonical or musical proportion, is when, of three numbers, the first is to the third as the difference of the first and second to the difference of the second and third. Thus 2, 3, 6, are in harmonical proportion; for 2 is to 6 as 1 to 3. So also four numbers are harmonical, when the first is to the fourth, as the difference of the first and second is to the difference of the third and fourth. Thus, 24, 16, 12, 9, are harmonical, for 24 : 9 : : 8 : 3. – Encyc. Arithmetical and geometrical proportion. [See Progression, No. 4.] Reciprocal proportion, an equality between a direct and a reciprocal ratio. Thus, 4 : 2: : 1/3: 1/6. [See Reciprocals, and Reciprocal ratio.]


  1. To adjust the comparative relation of one thing or one part to another; as, to proportion the size of a building to its highth, or the thickness of a thing to its length; to proportion our expenditures to our income. In the loss of an object, we do not proportion our grief to its real value, but to the value our fancies set upon it. – Addison.
  2. To form with symmetry or suitableness, as the parts of the body.


That may be proportioned or made proportional. This is the true sense of the word; but it is erroneously used in the sense of proportional, being in proportion; having a due comparative relation; as, infantry with a proportionable number of horse.


State of being proportionable.


According to proportion or comparative relation; as, a large body, with limbs proportionably large.

PRO-POR'TION-AL, a. [It. proporzionale; Fr. proportionnel.]

Having a due comparative relation; being in suitable proportion or degree; as, the parts of an edifice are proportional. In pharmacy, medicines are compounded of certain proportional quantities of ingredients. The velocity of a moving body is proportional to the impelling force, when the quantity of matter is given; its momentum is proportional to the quantity of matter it contains, when its velocity is given. Proportional, in chimistry, a term employed in the theory of definite proportions, to denote the same as the weight of an atom or a prime. [See Prime.] Proportionals, in geometry, are quantities, either linear or numeral, which bear the same ratio or relation to each other. – Encyc.


The quality of being in proportion. – Grew.


In proportion; in due degree; with suitable comparative relation; as, all parts of a building being proportionally large.


Adjusted to something else according to a certain rule or comparative relation; proportional. The connection between the end and means is proportionate. – Grew. Punishment should be proportionate to the transgression. – Locke.


To proportion; to make proportional; to adjust according to a settled rate or to due comparative relation; as, to proportionate punishments to crimes. [This verb is less used than proportion.]


With due proportion; according to a settled or suitable rate or degree. – Pearson.


The state of being adjusted by due or settled proportion or comparative relation; suitableness of proportions. – Hale.


Made or adjusted with due proportion or with symmetry of parts.


Making proportional.


Without proportion; without symmetry of parts.

PRO-PO'SAL, n. [s as z. from propose.]

  1. That which is offered or propounded for consideration or acceptance; a scheme or design, terms or conditions prosed; as, to make proposals for a treaty of peace; to offer proposals for erecting a building; to make proposals of marriage; proposals for subscription to a loan or to a literary work.
  2. Offer to the mind; as, the proposal of an agreeable object. – South.

PRO-POSE', v.i.

To lay schemes. [Not in use.] – Shak. [Propose is often used for purpose; as, I propose to ride to New York to-morrow. Purpose and propose are different forms of the same word.]

PRO-POSE', v.t. [s. as z. Fr. proposer; L. propono, proposui; W. posiaw, to pose, that is, to set; literally to put or throw forward.]

  1. To offer for consideration, discussion, acceptance or adoption; as, to propose a bill or resolve to a legislative body; to propose terms of peace; to propose a question or subject for discussion; to propose an alliance by treaty or marriage; to propose alterations or amendments in a law.
  2. To offer or present for consideration. In learning any thing, as little as possible should be proposed to the mind at first. – Watts. To propose for one's self, to intend; to design; to form a design in the mind.


Offered or presented for consideration, discussion, acceptance or adoption.


One that offers any thing for consideration or adoption. – Locke.


Offering for consideration, acceptance or adoption.

PROP-O-SI'TION, n. [s. as z. Fr. from L. propositio, from propositus, propono.]

  1. That which is proposed; that which is offered for consideration, acceptance or adoption; a proposal; offer of terms. The enemy made propositions of peace; the propositions were not accepted.
  2. In logic, one of the three parts of a regular argument; the part of an argument in which some quality, negative or positive, is attributed to a subject; as, “snow is white;” “water is fluid;” “vice is not commendable.”
  3. In mathematics, a statement in terms of either a truth to be demonstrated, or an operation to be performed. It is called a theorem, when it is something to be proved; and a problem, when it is something to be done. – D. Olmsted.
  4. In oratory, that which is offered or affirmed as the subject of the discourse; any thing stated or affirmed for discussion or illustration.
  5. In poetry, the first part of a poem, in which the author states the subject or matter of it. Horace recommends modesty and simplicity in the proposition of a poem.


Pertaining to a proposition; considered as a proposition; as, a propositional sense. – Watts.