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

germane

play
adjective ger·mane \(ˌ)jər-ˈmān\

Simple Definition of germane

  • : relating to a subject in an appropriate way

Full Definition of germane

  1. 1 obsolete :  closely akin

  2. 2 :  being at once relevant and appropriate :  fitting <omit details that are not germane to the discussion>

ger·mane·ly adverb

Examples of germane

  1. The press material for this film contains some notes made by the Dardenne brothers during the shooting. Such material is usually disposable, but these notes are germane.. —Stanley Kauffmann, New Republic, 3 Feb. 2003

  2. From time to time, engineers and scientists hold conferences … where they trot out ideas they have developed, frequently ideas germane to solving practical problems. —Jane Jacobs, Cities and the Wealth of Nations,(1984) 1985

  3. Bork and his supporters argued that his “academic” writings and his speeches were not germane to whether he should be confirmed. —Elizabeth Drew, New Yorker, 2 Nov. 1987

  4. facts germane to the dispute

  5. <my personal opinion isn't germane to our discussion of the facts of the case>



Origin of germane

Middle English germain, literally, having the same parents, from Anglo-French


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of germane

relevant, germane, material, pertinent, apposite, applicable, apropos mean relating to or bearing upon the matter in hand. relevant implies a traceable, significant, logical connection <found material relevant to her case>. germane may additionally imply a fitness for or appropriateness to the situation or occasion <a point not germane to the discussion>. material implies so close a relationship that it cannot be dispensed with without serious alteration of the case <facts material to the investigation>. pertinent stresses a clear and decisive relevance <a pertinent observation>. apposite suggests a felicitous relevance <add an apposite quotation to the definition>. applicable suggests the fitness of bringing a general rule or principle to bear upon a particular case <the rule is not applicable in this case>. apropos suggests being both relevant and opportune <the quip was apropos>.


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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 kittly-benders pince-nez 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