Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to proportion: Direct proportion
of biblical proportions
Of a huge or catastrophic size, magnitude, or severity. The typhoon laid waste to the coast of Japan, causing damage of biblical proportions. An evacuation of biblical proportions has been underway since the civil war began.
blown (all) out of proportion
Exaggerated or magnified beyond the true scale or truth of the matter. It was just a minor tremor, not even a proper earthquake, but the media has it blown all out of proportion. These reports on the crime rate are blown out of proportion, if you ask me.
blow (something) up out of proportion
To indicate, imply, or argue that something is more important or consequential than it really is; to overinflate the importance of something. Don't blow this up out of proportion, Bill—I was late due to traffic, and that's it. It's just a small inconvenience, don't blow it up out of proportion and make it sound like the end of the world.
blow (something) out of (all) proportion
To make something seem more important, negative, or significant than it really is; to exaggerate something or focus unnecessary attention on something. I'm sure he didn't mean anything by that comment—don't blow it out of proportion. Of course she's mad at me because I didn't call her back—you can always count on my mom to blow something out of all proportion!
a disaster of epic proportions
A catastrophe. Often used figuratively. Meteorologists have been predicting that the hurricane will be a disaster of epic proportions for us because we're so close to the coast. Oh, my attempt to ask Addison to the dance was a disaster of epic proportions—I could only squeak out a few incoherent words before turning completely red and running away.
keep (something) in proportion
To not, or try not to, react to something in an exaggerated or overblown manner; to not make something seem more important, negative, or significant than it really is. I know we're all shocked by the announcement, but let's try to keep it in proportion—no on is losing their job, and no one is getting a decrease in pay. In reality, it's just a rearrangement of responsibilities. In the age of social media, people seem to have a harder and harder time keeping current events in proportion.
out of proportion
Not the correct size or scale in relation to other things. The crime rate in this city is way out of proportion to its population size. It was just a minor tremor, not even a proper earthquake, but the media has it blown all out of proportion.
disaster of epic proportions
Cliché a very large disaster. (Often jocular.) The earthquake was responsible for a disaster of epic proportions. Your late arrival caused a disaster of epic proportions.
showing the correct size or proportion relative to something else. That man's large head is not in proportion to his small body. The cartoonist drew the dog in proportion to its surroundings.
See also: proportion
*out of (all) proportion
of exaggerated importance; of an unrealistic importance or size compared to something else. (*Typically: be ~; blow something ~; grow ~.) Thisproblem has grown out of all proportion. Yes, this figure is way out of proportion to the others in the painting.
out of proportion
Also, out of all proportion. Not in proper relation to other things, especially by being the wrong size or amount. For example, This vase looks out of proportion on this small table, or Her emotional response was out of all proportion to the circumstances. The noun proportion means "an agreeable or harmonious relationship of one thing relative to another." [Early 1700s] The antonym in proportion dates from the late 1600s and also refers either to physical size or appropriate degree, as in The bird's wings are huge in proportion to its body, or Her willingness to believe him stands in direct proportion to her love for intrigue.
ˌkeep something in proˈportionreact to something in a sensible way and not think it is worse or more serious than it really is: Listen, I know you’re all upset but let’s try to keep things in proportion, shall we?
out of (all) proˈportion (to something)greater or more important, serious, etc. than it really is or should be: When you’re depressed, it’s very easy to get things out of proportion. ♢ The punishment is out of all proportion to the crime.
blow out of proportion
To make more of than is reasonable; exaggerate.