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 \ ik-​ˈsep-​tə-​blē How to pronounce acceptably (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 Pink is still acceptable, but that typical Derby pastel may lean more toward fuchsia. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "OK, so fans can attend the rescheduled 2020 Kentucky Derby. But what should you wear?," 25 June 2020 After an internal investigation, the Aurora Police Department found the officers involved in the stop had acted within the bounds of acceptable policy and training. Katie Shepherd, Washington Post, "An unarmed 23-year-old black man died after police stopped him. The governor wants a new probe.," 25 June 2020 European nations are currently haggling over two potential lists of acceptable visitors based on how countries are faring with the pandemic. Matina Stevis-gridneff,, "EU may bar American travelers as it reopens borders, citing failures on virus," 24 June 2020 Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects, the FDA stated. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "9 brands of hand sanitizer may be toxic, FDA warns," 23 June 2020 Scarves, bandanas, towels and other coverings all are acceptable under the county's rule. Sasha Hupka, azcentral, "Face masks FAQ: 8 things to know about wearing a mask in Maricopa County," 22 June 2020 As a result, people who are heading back to the movies need to follow public health guidelines — decide what risks are acceptable, said Amanda Simanek, associate professor of epidemiology at the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health at UWM. Jordan Nutting, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Going to the movies this weekend? Here are some tips on staying safe, minimizing risks," 18 June 2020 While the new the cartridge sells very well in those areas, its long-term popularity may depend on those states continuing to demand straight-walled cartridges and deeming the .350 Legend to be acceptable. Mike Dickerson, Outdoor Life, "8 of the Hottest New Hunting Cartridges for 2021 and Beyond," 18 June 2020 Hawkins was also impressed by Purvis’ quick thinking to pivot his store to making cloth face masks as a way to bridge the gap in finances until events and parties are acceptable again. Natalie Walters, Dallas News, "Retired couple donate their $2,400 stimulus money to cover struggling Plano costume shop’s payroll," 17 June 2020

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

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Acceptable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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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

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