The definition of percent is out of one hundred parts.(adjective)
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.(noun)
An example of a percent is one person out of each hundred people being vegetarian.
See percent in Webster's New World College Dictionary
Origin: < It per cento < L per centum
See percent in American Heritage Dictionary 4
also per centadverb
Origin: From per cent.
Origin: , abbreviation of per centum, by the hundred
Origin: : per, per; see per
Origin: + 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.
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