ac·​cept·​able | \ ik-ˈsep-tə-bəl How to pronounce acceptable (audio) , ak- also ek-\

Definition of acceptable

1 : capable or worthy of being accepted an acceptable noise level socially acceptable behavior a compromise that is acceptable to both sides
2a : welcome, pleasing Compliments are always acceptable.
b : barely satisfactory or adequate The performances varied from excellent to acceptable.

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Other Words from acceptable

acceptability \ ik-​ˌsep-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce acceptability (audio) , (ˌ)ak-​ , ek-​ \ noun
acceptableness \ ik-​ˈsep-​tə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce acceptableness (audio) , ak-​ \ noun
acceptably \ -​blē How to pronounce acceptably (audio) \ adverb

Examples of acceptable in a Sentence

acceptable and unacceptable noise levels It was an acceptable performance, although not an outstanding one. She plays an acceptable game of tennis.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Bullying wasn’t acceptable in real life and not in the virtual world, either. Karina Bland, azcentral, "Even a 14-year-old can understand the basic rules of how to behave on social media," 5 June 2019 Contestants don’t have to wear gowns during the evening-wear segment -- cocktail dresses or pants are acceptable -- but most choose to do so, Teninbaum said. Mary Colurso |,, "Miss Alabama 2019: Swimsuits are out, interviews are in for 47 women in state competition," 4 June 2019 For those of us in the northern hemisphere, Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer — and, according to fashion lore, the official start of that small window of time before Labor Day in which wearing white is socially acceptable. Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Kicked off Summer in White Lace-up Sailor Pants and Neon Green Stilettos," 25 May 2019 And the gray area about what’s acceptable in both areas can hurt both people involved. Kevin Mcallister, WSJ, "The Confusing World of Venmo Etiquette," 10 Feb. 2019 So, the possible eight, or his eventual 10, was, in his mind, significantly more acceptable than the alternative. Marcus Hayes,, "Phil Mickelson should be gone but officials turn a blind eye at the U.S. Open | Marcus Hayes," 16 June 2018 Killing a woman makes the land attainable and calling a woman a dakan makes her murder acceptable. Seema Yasmin, SELF, "In Rural India, Protecting Women From Witch Hunting, and an Impending Flood," 17 Aug. 2018 However, the deal now appears to be close to finalisation, with the £4m offer being deemed acceptable by the Baggies., "Ben Foster Edges Closer to West Brom Exit as Watford Agree £4m Deal Following Training Camp Boycott," 5 July 2018 More complicated than friends with benefits, less socially acceptable than an actual relationship. Samantha Leac, Glamour, "It’s Time to Put a Stop to ‘In-Betweenships’," 19 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acceptable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of acceptable

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for acceptable

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Late Latin acceptābilis, from Latin acceptāre "to accept" + -bilis "capable of (being acted upon)" — more at -able

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Statistics for acceptable

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for acceptable

The first known use of acceptable was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for acceptable


ac·​cept·​able | \ ik-ˈsep-tə-bəl How to pronounce acceptable (audio) , ak-\

Kids Definition of acceptable

1 : worthy of being accepted an acceptable excuse
2 : adequate sense 2 He plays an acceptable game of tennis.

Other Words from acceptable

acceptably \ -​blē \ adverb

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Comments on acceptable

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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