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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