Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

eligible

play
adjective el·i·gi·ble \ˈe-lə-jə-bəl\

Simple Definition of eligible

  • : able to be chosen for something : able to do or receive something

  • : suitable and desirable for marriage

Full Definition of eligible

  1. 1 a :  qualified to participate or be chosen <eligible to retire> b :  permitted under football rules to catch a forward pass

  2. 2 :  worthy of being chosen <an eligible young bachelor>

el·i·gi·bil·i·ty play \ˌe-lə-jə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
eligible noun
el·i·gi·bly play \ˈe-lə-jə-blē\ adverb

Examples of eligible

  1. … more than six years since the fall of the Taliban, fewer than 30% of eligible girls are enrolled in schools, and the infrastructure is so poor that only a tiny fraction are likely to get the education they need to enjoy the fruits of emancipation. —Aryn Baker, Time, 28 Jan. 2008

  2. She wanted to start her own family. She was twenty-six and without prospects. At church her mother prayed, and at Crystal Nail, where she lacquered and lengthened, her mother asked customers about eligible young men. She kept Li En's graduation photo mounted in the right corner of her mirror, so that every customer would see her daughter, diploma in hand. —Max Apple, Atlantic, November 2003

  3. I'd like to join but I'm not eligible yet.



Origin of eligible

Middle English, from Late Latin eligibilis, from Latin eligere to choose — more at elect


First Known Use: 15th century




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up eligible? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 5, 2016

bread traditionally eaten on Shabbat

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift pince-nez kittly-benders duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ