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See also: per cent and per cent.



Alternative formsEdit


From New Latin per centum (by the hundred).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /pəˈsɛnt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /pɜɹ.sɛnt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛnt


percent (plural percent or percents)

  1. A part or other object per hundred.
    A candidate must receive at least half a percent of the votes in the first round to earn a spot on the ballot for the next round.
  2. A percentage, a proportion (especially per hundred).
    only a small percent attain the top ranks

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


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



  • percent at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • percent in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 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.
  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, Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers.
  5. 5.0 5.1 percent” in the Cambridge English Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  6. 6.0 6.1 percent” (US) / “percent” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.
  7. 7.0 7.1 percent” in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  8. 8.0 8.1 percent” (US) / “percent” (UK) in Macmillan Dictionary




percen +‎ -t


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



  1. third-person singular indicative past indefinite of percen
  2. past participle of percen