- The definition of percent is out of one hundred parts.
An example of percent is a 2.5 percent interest rate paid in a bank.
- The definition of a percent is one out of one hundred parts.
An example of a percent is one person out of each hundred people being vegetarian.
percent definition by Webster's New World
Origin: ; from Italian per cento ; from Classical Latin per centum
- a hundredth part
- Informal percentage
- Brit. securities bearing regular interest of a (stated) percentage: the four percents
percent definition by American Heritage Dictionary
also per centadverb
- pl. percent also per cent One part in a hundred: The report states that 42 percent of the alumni contributed to the endowment. Also called per centum.
- pl. percents A percentage or portion: She has invested a large percent of her salary.
- percents Chiefly British Public securities yielding interest at a specified percentage.
Origin: From per cent., abbreviation of per centum, by the hundred : per, per; see per + centum, hundred; see dekm̥ in Indo-European roots.Usage Note: Statistically speaking, a quantity can be increased by any percentage but cannot be decreased by more than 100 percent. Once pollution has been reduced by 100 percent, for example, it ceases to exist. In defiance of this logic, however, advertisers sometimes refer to a 150 percent decrease in lost luggage or a new dental rinse that reduces plaque on teeth by over 300 percent. Presumably what is implied by the latter is that the new rinse is three times as effective as some other rinse, but such constructions are still subject to criticism as illogical. • Percent can take a singular or plural verb, depending on how the quantity being described is viewed. Very often what determines the form of the verb is the noun nearest to it. Thus one might say Eighty percent of the legislators are going to vote against the bill or Eighty percent of the legislature is set to vote the bill down. In the second sentence the group of legislators is considered as a body, not as individuals. When percent is used without a following prepositional phrase, either a singular or plural verb is acceptable.
percent - Cultural Definition
A fraction expressed as a number of hundredths. Twelve percent of a quantity, for example, is twelve one-hundredths of it. Twelve percent may also be written 12%.
percent - Science Definition
also per cent