from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state of being propense; propensity.
  • noun The state or condition of tending to move in a certain direction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The quality or state of being propense; propensity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Propensity.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French propension, and its source, Latin prōpensiō, from the participle stem of prōpendēre.


  • If they died by violent hands, and were thrust into their urns, these bones become considerable, and some old philosophers would honour them, whose souls they conceived most pure, which were thus snatched from their bodies, and to retain a stronger propension unto them; whereas they weariedly left a languishing corpse and with faint desires of reunion.

    Hydriotaphia, or Urn-burial

  • The appetite, being stirred up by the imaginative, effectually moves man to that which is proper and agreeable to his nature, just as when there is made a propension. and inclination in the principal and reasonable part.

    Essays and Miscellanies

  • For they could not, what attempts and stirs soever they made, obtain so much from the instinct by which the appetite is moved to act, as to suffer itself to be called an assent, or to acknowledge sense for the origin and principle of its propension, but it appeared of its own accord to present itself to act, as having no need to be joined with anything else.

    Essays and Miscellanies

  • And if at any time the charms of poetry transport him into any disquieting passions, he will quickly say to himself, as Homer very elegantly (considering the propension of that sex to listen after fables) says in his Necyia, or relation of the state of the dead, —

    Essays and Miscellanies

  • From these suppositions, with many other of like import, it is evident that there is a pregnant, strong, overpowering propension in all true believers to walk holily and to live righteously: so that to refrain sinning in the kind intended is no such great mastery, no such matter of difficulty, unto such men; and that when they are overcome and fall into sin, it is through a mere voluntary neglect.

    The Doctrine of the Saints��� Perseverance Explained and Confirmed

  • They have, indeed, a propension to holiness ruling in them, but also a propension unto sin dwelling in them; so that “when they would do good, evil is present with them, and the good they would do they cannot.”

    The Doctrine of the Saints��� Perseverance Explained and Confirmed

  • It is true, their propension unto righteousness reigneth in them, but it is as true their propension unto sin rebelleth in them.

    The Doctrine of the Saints��� Perseverance Explained and Confirmed

  • It is the duty of every true friend of humanity and order, to protest against perverted sensibilities or sophistical refinements, which find warrant or apology for depraved appetites, -- for the worst distemperature of the mind, and the most fatal catastrophes, -- in natural propension, and unrestrained feeling.

    Choice Specimens of American Literature, and Literary Reader Being Selections from the Chief American Writers

  • The harshness of a stepmother, and her own indulged propension to vice, cast her headlong into the greatest disorders.

    The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints January, February, March

  • Marches; who, to his natural propension of ingenuity, had the addition of good Education, being bred up first in _Oxford_, afterwards, for a while a Student of the Law in the _Middle Temple_; soon after he cast

    The Lives of the Most Famous English Poets (1687)


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