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.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web There is also some hope that those who have so far refused to get vaccinated might decide that the Novavax shot, because of its more traditional manufacturing method, is acceptable. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 July 2022 During Soviet rule, such losses might not have been acceptable, says Ivan Nikolenko, a 27-year-old anti-corruption activist who’s become a full-time first-aid instructor during the war. Noah Robertson, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 July 2022 Any space where the slides aren’t acceptable isn’t of interest to them anyway. Ryan Lee Wong, Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2022 The goal is to confirm the theory that a 75-decibel boom will be acceptable. Jacopo Prisco, CNN, 25 July 2022 No contraceptive drug for men has ever gotten to that stage, so the US Food and Drug Administration will have to decide what level of risk is acceptable. Wired, 24 July 2022 Bullying is never acceptable, and these tools can empower your children to safely and successfully take a stand. Jacqueline Sperling, Ph.d., Harvard Health Blog, Anchorage Daily News, 22 July 2022 This is a mid-range phone—a market segment where the cameras are usually dreadful—so Google's competent camera is acceptable. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 21 July 2022 Such phrases are acceptable in people’s quotations or job titles. WSJ, 15 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Acceptable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on acceptable

Nglish: Translation of acceptable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of acceptable for Arabic Speakers


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