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

Reimbursing the general fund for 911 payroll is acceptable, per PEMA funding guidelines. Claudia Vargas,, "What happened to Philly's $40 million 911 surplus?," 26 June 2018 Mild drug habits or mental illnesses are perfectly acceptable, so long as someone is willing to write catchy songs about those tendencies and then later gussy them up for arena audiences and gamely field jokes from talk-show hosts. Carrie Battan, GQ, "How Do You Explain Zayn?," 18 June 2018 That’s not acceptable, according to Jesse Heffernan, a consultant who helps advocacy groups develop programs and services, branding, and outreach efforts. Cat Ferguson, The Verge, "Predatory behavior runs rampant in Facebook’s addiction support groups," 21 May 2018 More effective treatment is increasingly necessary because gambling is more acceptable and accessible than ever before. Ferris Jabr, Scientific American, "How the Brain Gets Addicted to Gambling," 14 May 2018 There levels are moderate (the scores range from 51 to 100), which is considered acceptable, though for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive, the level of pollutants may cause some concern. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Hawaiian vacation planned but you're worried about air quality? Go.," 10 May 2018 That's simply not acceptable for large files, and a USB stick becomes a far more practical option. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "How Windows 10's Near Share feature wirelessly beams files to nearby PCs," 27 Mar. 2018 The way it's being handled right now isn't acceptable. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Attorney General Jeff Sessions: the Trump administration's architect of 'zero tolerance'," 19 June 2018 Today, with more than two million people languishing in America’s prisons and jails, at a cost to taxpayers of $87 billion per year, waiting for a legislature to act is not acceptable. Maya Wiley, The New Republic, "Power of the Prosecutor," 24 May 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

1 Oct 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

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lying above or upon

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