adjective sus·cep·ti·ble \sə-ˈsep-tə-bəl\

: easily affected, influenced, or harmed by something

: capable of being affected by a specified action or process

Full Definition of SUSCEPTIBLE

:  capable of submitting to an action, process, or operation <a theory susceptible to proof>
:  open, subject, or unresistant to some stimulus, influence, or agency <susceptible to pneumonia>
:  impressionable, responsive <a susceptible mind>
sus·cep·ti·ble·ness noun
sus·cep·ti·bly \-blē\ adverb


  1. The virus can infect susceptible individuals.
  2. <some people are more susceptible to depression during the winter because of reduced exposure to sunlight>
  3. Researchers at the University of South Carolina say that a chemical found abundantly in red wine, apples and onions helps protect against influenza, especially after a rigorous respiratory workout, when the body is more susceptible to infection. —Kim Marcus et al., Wine Spectator, 31 May 2009


Late Latin susceptibilis, from Latin susceptus, past participle of suscipere to take up, admit, from sub-, sus- up + capere to take — more at sub-, heave
First Known Use: 1605

Synonym Discussion of SUSCEPTIBLE

liable, open, exposed, subject, prone, susceptible, sensitive mean being by nature or through circumstances likely to experience something adverse. liable implies a possibility or probability of incurring something because of position, nature, or particular situation <liable to get lost>. open stresses a lack of barriers preventing incurrence <a claim open to question>. exposed suggests lack of protection or powers of resistance against something actually present or threatening <exposed to infection>. subject implies an openness for any reason to something that must be suffered or undergone <all reports are subject to review>. prone stresses natural tendency or propensity to incur something <prone to delay>. susceptible implies conditions existing in one's nature or individual constitution that make incurrence probable <very susceptible to flattery>. sensitive implies a readiness to respond to or be influenced by forces or stimuli <unduly sensitive to criticism>.

Both liable and apt when followed by an infinitive are used nearly interchangeably with likely. Although conflicting advice has been given over the years, most current commentators accept apt when so used. They generally recommend limiting liable to situations having an undesirable outcome, and our evidence shows that in edited writing it is more often so used than not.


SUSCEPTIBLE Defined for Kids


adjective sus·cep·ti·ble \sə-ˈsep-tə-bəl\

Definition of SUSCEPTIBLE for Kids

:  of such a nature as to permit <The words are susceptible of being misunderstood.>
:  having little resistance (as to infection or damage) <I am susceptible to colds.>
:  easily affected or impressed by <You're so susceptible to flattery.>


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