ac·​cept·​able | \ik-ˈsep-tə-bəl, 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, (ˌ)ak-​, ek-​ \ noun
acceptableness \ik-​ˈsep-​tə-​bəl-​nəs, ak-​ \ noun
acceptably \-​blē \ 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

Those flaws may exacerbate the decades-long concern of less than acceptable voter participation. The Aegis, "Hard look needed at election problems in Maryland [Editorial]," 12 July 2018 Her water was deemed to be seven times higher than the 104 ppb levels set as acceptable by the national Lead and Copper Rule. Richard Horan, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Poisoned City' tells the horrific story of Flint's contaminated water," 10 July 2018 Getting through the group stage was seen as enough of a challenge, and having negotiated that comfortably, an honorable defeat to a team with Spain’s pedigree would have been an acceptable outcome. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Whatever happens, Vladimir Putin is winning the World Cup," 1 July 2018 Although community violence may be widespread, that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. Darby Saxbe, Scientific American, "Living with Neighborhood Violence May Shape Teens’ Brains," 15 June 2018 As negotiations now advance, there is only one acceptable final outcome: complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization. Rebecca Shabad /, NBC News, "Trump-Kim summit draws mixed reaction on Capitol Hill," 12 June 2018 Religious discrimination towards homosexuals was and still is in some houses of worship perfectly acceptable. Courant Community, "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 12 June 2018 Stadium food and beverage prices could be a dissertation at Harvard; $5.50 has, sadly, become an acceptable sum for a 16 oz. bottle of water. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "From the cheap seats: A thank you to fans who get the shaft," 10 June 2018 The Trump administration officially insists that complete, verifiable denuclearization is the only acceptable outcome for the Korean Peninsula. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Trump says he will use his "touch" and "feel" to know if Kim Jong Un is serious," 9 June 2018

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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Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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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, 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).


having a pattern of small flowers

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