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

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 Engineers have for decades searched for a socially acceptable alternative to burying or burning. The Economist, "Why undertakers are worried," 12 Apr. 2018 What was not acceptable was black people demanding power by any means necessary. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "When the Revolution Was Televised," 1 Apr. 2018 Going to bear- and bull-baiting events that used dogs was a perfectly acceptable alternative to attending the theater for a performance of William Shakespeare’s latest play. Longreads, "The Way We Treat Our Pets Is More Paleolithic Than Medieval," 22 Mar. 2018 No amount of marijuana in the bloodstream is acceptable if a driver is stopped for impaired driving. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan's marijuana proposal differs from Colorado law," 12 July 2018 The examples on the application are the type of information that is acceptable. Courant Community, "Community News For The Valley Edition," 10 July 2018 One of these things, society seemed to have decided, might be acceptable. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "We All Owe Monica Lewinsky an Apology," 9 July 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

3 Sep 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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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