adjective ac·cept·able \ ik-ˈsep-tə-bəl , ak- also ek- \
Updated on: 9 Jan 2018

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
2 a : welcome, pleasing
  • Compliments are always acceptable.
b : barely satisfactory or adequate
  • The performances varied from excellent to acceptable.


play \ik-ˌsep-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē, (ˌ)ak-, ek-\ noun


play \ik-ˈsep-tə-bəl-nəs, ak-\ noun


play \-blē\ adverb

Examples of acceptable in a Sentence

  1. acceptable and unacceptable noise levels

  2. It was an acceptable performance, although not an outstanding one.

  3. She plays an acceptable game of tennis.

Recent Examples of acceptable from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

acceptable Synonyms

adequate, all right, decent, fairish, fine, good, OK (or okay), passable, respectable, satisfactory, serviceable, tolerable
deficient, inadequate, insufficient, lacking, unacceptable, unsatisfactory, wanting
Related Words
agreeable, bearable, endurable, sufferable; average, fair, indifferent, mediocre, middling, minimal; common, ordinary, run-of-the-mill, run-of-the-mine (or run-of-mine), second-rate, so-so; standard, unexceptional; appropriate, correct, due, fitting, meet, proper, right, seemly, suitable, useful, worthy; gratifying, satisfying
Near Antonyms
disagreeable, disreputable, improper, indecent, objectionable, unfit, unsuitable, unworthy, useless, wrong; bad, cheap, defective, faulty, imperfect, incomplete, lamentable, pitiful, shoddy; dissatisfying; insufficient, meager (or meagre), mean, miserly, niggardly, poor, scanty, shabby, short, skimpy, spare, stingy; insufferable, intolerable, unbearable, unendurable; atrocious, execrable, miserable, vile, wretched; exceptional, exquisite, extreme, fancy, first-class, high-grade, matchless, maximized, maximum, optimal, optimum, peerless, preeminent, premium, special, supreme, unmatched, unparalleled; A1, bang-up, banner, boss [slang], capital, classic, crackerjack, dandy, divine, fabulous, fine, first-rate, grand, great, groovy, heavenly, jim-dandy, keen, marvelous (or marvellous), mean, neat, nifty, noble, par excellence, prime, sensational, splendid, stellar, sterling, superb, superior, superlative, supernal, swell, terrific, tip-top, top, top-notch, unsurpassed, wonderful

ACCEPTABLE Defined for Kids


adjective ac·cept·able \ ik-ˈsep-tə-bəl , ak- \

Definition of acceptable for Students

1 : worthy of being accepted
  • an acceptable excuse
2 : adequate 2
  • He plays an acceptable game of tennis.


\-blē\ adverb

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