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 acceptable (audio) , (ˌ)ak-​ , ek-​ \ noun
acceptableness \ ik-​ˈsep-​tə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce acceptable (audio) , ak-​ \ noun
acceptably \ ik-​ˈsep-​tə-​blē How to pronounce acceptable (audio) , ak-​ also  ek-​ \ 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 Regents David McMillan and Steve Sviggum said the tuition increase, while not ideal, is acceptable given the university would also be cutting costs and raising employee salaries by 1.5%. Ryan Faircloth, Star Tribune, 10 June 2021 That simply wasn’t acceptable in Olshey’s eyes, even though Stotts’ offenses routinely ranked among the league’s best. oregonlive, 8 June 2021 If there’s one thing the past year has taught many of us, a one-size-fits-all approach to delivering the employee experience is no longer acceptable. Neil Vaswani, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Sweatpants are acceptable so long as they are accompanied by a blazer (the quarantine mullet: business on top, PJ party on the bottom)., 8 June 2021 Most scientists want clear boundaries delineating which experiments are acceptable, both legally and to society. Andrew Joseph, STAT, 29 May 2021 Losing was not acceptable in Jayhawk Nation, and the twins were largely viewed by the fans as knuckleheads. Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2021 If this is not acceptable, leave a fruit or two, but that is all. Tom Maccubbin,, 22 May 2021 Either way, the board’s decision Wednesday marked the next stage in a long saga of adjudicating acceptable speech, rather than a decisive ending. Washington Post, 6 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for acceptable

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for acceptable

Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Acceptable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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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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