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adjective per·ti·nent \ˈpər-tə-nənt, ˈpərt-nənt\

Simple Definition of pertinent

  • : relating to the thing that is being thought about or discussed

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of pertinent

  1. :  having a clear decisive relevance to the matter in hand

pertinently adverb

Examples of pertinent in a sentence

  1. At the dawn of the common-law court system, jurors took their places as residents of the neighborhood where the pertinent events had occurred, who were assumed to possess special knowledge of the facts and, more important, of every witness's credibility. —Hiller B. Zobel, American Heritage, July/August 1995

  2. A more pertinent question than “What am I?” is “How can I be who I am and still hack it in America?” —C. Eric Lincoln, Lure and Loathing, 1993

  3. But as my moment of fame ticks by, a more pertinent issue persists: What hath CNN wrought in the worlds of communications, of diplomacy, of politics? —Peter Arnett, Washington Post, 25-31 Mar. 1991

  4. No recurrent symbolism in the Odyssey is more pertinent than the long and deliberate stripping its hero undergoes: of his ships, of his men, of his hopes, of his clothes, even of his very skin on the cliffs of Corfu. —John Fowles, Island, 1978

  5. <he impressed the jury with his concise, pertinent answers to the attorney's questions>

Origin of pertinent

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin pertinent-, pertinens, present participle of pertinēre (see pertain)

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of pertinent

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>.

PERTINENT Defined for Kids


adjective per·ti·nent \ˈpər-tə-nənt\

Definition of pertinent for Students

  1. :  relating to the subject that is being thought about or discussed :  relevant <a pertinent question>

Seen and Heard

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a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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