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See also: per cent and per cent.


Alternative forms[edit]


From New Latin per centum (by the hundred).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /pəˈsɛnt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /pɚˈsɛnt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛnt


percent (not comparable)

  1. For every hundred (used with preceding numeral to form a noun phrase expressing a proportion). [from 16th c.]
    • 2002, Leon Jaroff, Time, 8 May:
      Diane Watson has had a distinguished career in education and politics, and last year was elected to the House of Representatives, winning 75 percent of the vote in her Congressional district.
    • 2016, Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 7 July:
      Twelve percent of the world’s population now relies directly or indirectly on the fisheries industry.

Usage notes[edit]

  • A percentage is often denoted by the character %.
    50% denotes 50 percent.
  • The difference of two percentages is measured by percentage point, not by percent.

Derived terms[edit]


percent (plural percent or percents)

  1. English Wikipedia has an article on:
    A percentage, a proportion (especially per hundred).
    only a small percent attain the top ranks
  2. One part per hundred; one percent. [from 19th c.]
    • 2008, Niall Ferguson, The Ascent of Money, Penguin 2008, p. 254:
      And from 1966, under Regulation Q, there was a ceiling of 5.5 per cent on their deposit rates, a quarter of a per cent more than banks were allowed to pay.


Prepositional phrase[edit]


  1. Per hundred.
    • 2014, Alan Tussy, Diane Koenig, Basic Mathematics for College Students with Early Integers (→ISBN), page 637:
      By how many percent did the cancer survival rate for breast cancer increase by 2008?

Usage notes[edit]

  • Percent/per cent originated as a shortening of the Latin phrase per centum, “per hundred”, and historically the use of the word as a noun (as in “half a percent” or “percents”) was regarded as an error,[1] though such use has now become so common that it is recognized by all other major dictionaries,[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] and a few treat the word as being only a noun.[8] Of those which recognize non-nounal uses, most label it an adverb[2][3][4][5][6] and many also label it an adjective[2][3][4][7] though it does not meet tests of adjectivity.

See also[edit]



  • percent at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • percent in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  1. ^ Various older pedagogic works, e.g. Charles Harvey Raymond's Essentials of English composition (1923), page 461, prescribe: "Per cent is an adverb meaning in the hundred. [...] Percentage is a noun meaning rate per cent."
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 percent”, in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary, (Please provide a date or year).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 percent”, in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition, Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, →ISBN
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 percent” in the Collins English Dictionary
  5. 5.0 5.1 percent” in the Cambridge English Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  6. 6.0 6.1 percent”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  7. 7.0 7.1 percent” in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  8. 8.0 8.1 percent” (US) / “percent” (UK) in Macmillan English Dictionary.





  1. third-person plural present indicative of percer
  2. third-person plural present subjunctive of percer



percen +‎ -t


  • IPA(key): [ˈpɛrt͡sɛnt]
  • Hyphenation: per‧cent



  1. third-person singular indicative past indefinite of percen