Definitions
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
 n. One of a set of points on a scale arrived at by dividing a group into parts in order of magnitude. For example, a score equal to or greater than 97 percent of those attained on an examination is said to be in the 97th percentile.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike License
 n. Any of the ninetynine points that divide an ordered distribution into one hundred parts, each containing one per cent of the population.
 n. Any one of the hundred groups so divided.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
 In percentage: as, percentile measurement.
 n. See the first quotation.
 n. In mathematics, a point upon a curve of errors which corresponds to a certain percentage of the total number of observations under discussion.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
 n. (statistics) any of the 99 numbered points that divide an ordered set of scores into 100 parts each of which contains onehundredth of the total
Etymologies
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Examples

America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to ongoing persecution of hippies, radicals, and nonwhites under prosecution of the war on drugs.
Harry Anslinger: The Original Drug Warrior  Heretical Ideas Magazine

` ` Mid70 percentile is not going to be good enough.

Apparently he defines good teachers as those whose students improved the most in percentile rank over the school year and bad teachers as those whose students dropped the most in percentile rank over the school year, which seems like it would grossly exaggerate the performance difference between good and bad teachers, because the teacher is just one tiny variable in a system with a lot of noise — and because percentile scores aren’t zscores.

Feb. 6, 2009: At a checkup with a new pediatrician, Amy Seery, Ayub's body mass index indicates he is above the 95th percentile, which is defined as obese.

Twentyseven percent are above 95th percentile, which is considered obese, and 6 percent are morbidly obese, Neal said.

In their paper they define a family as â€œlow incomeâ€ if its income is below the 30th percentile, which is around $28,000.

Compared against the model's years of record 19182006, this corresponds to a probability of 54.5 percentile, which is slightly above median rainfall of 19.28 in/yr for years 19182006.

'' We do see kids that have a BMI in excess of the 95th percentile, which is considered overweight, throughout all of their childhood years. ''

The SI refers to a couple of correlation benchmarks as 90\% and 95\% percentiles (actually Mann calls this "significance", but I'm going to use the more neutral term percentile for now.)

Scores such as percentile ranks, grade equivalence and standard scores differ from one another in the purposes they can serve and describe achievement in different ways.
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