See also: per cent and per cent.


Alternative formsEdit


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 notesEdit

  • 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 termsEdit


percent (plural percent or percents)

    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 phraseEdit


  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 notesEdit

  • 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 alsoEdit



  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.
  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.

Further readingEdit

  • percent at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • percent in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.





  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