adjective ame·na·ble \ ə-ˈmē-nə-bəl , -ˈme- \
|Updated on: 20 Jun 2018

Definition of amenable

1 : liable to be brought to account : answerable
  • citizens amenable to the law
2 a : capable of submission (as to judgment or test) : suited
  • The data is amenable to analysis.
b : readily brought to yield, submit, or cooperate
  • a government not amenable to change
c : willing 1
  • was amenable to spending more time at home


play \-ˌmē-nə-ˈbil-ət-ē, -ˌme-\ noun


play \-ˈmē-nə-blē, -ˈme-\ adverb

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Examples of amenable in a Sentence

  1. Mr. Bush is in a position to make his party more amenable to minorities and especially blacks. He should seize the moment. —Jason L. RileyWall Street Journal16 Jan. 2003
  2. While no one yet knows how wide … margins can go, contracts establish royalty rates and project them far into the future. Many agents have thus pushed for a term of license of just a few years. Publishers, however, are not always amenable. —Steven M. ZeitchikPublishers Weekly14 June 1999
  3. Some of the newer findings address a vexing flaw in the sole noninvasive screening test for detecting microscopic prostate cancer, the form most amenable to a cure. —Marc B. Garnick et al.Scientific AmericanDecember 1998
  4. … depression, schizophrenia and manic depression, mental troubles that are now considered amenable to treatment by drug therapy … —Sherry TurkleLondon Review of Books19 Mar. 1998
  5. whatever you decide to do, I'm amenable—just let me know

  6. our normally balky cat becomes the most amenable of creatures when confronted with the strange environment of the veterinary clinic

Recent Examples of amenable from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amenable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Amenable is a legacy of Anglo-French and derives ultimately from Latin minari, meaning "to threaten." Since 1596, English speakers have been using it in courtrooms and writings of law with the meaning "answerable," as in "citizens amenable to the law." It later developed the meanings "suited" ("a simple function . . . which is perfectly amenable to pencil-and-paper arithmetic" - Nature, April 1973) and "responsive" (as in "mental illnesses that are amenable to drug therapy"). It also came to be used of people with a general disposition to be agreeable or complaisant - like Mr. Dick in David Copperfield, who was "the most friendly and amenable creature in existence." Nowadays, "amenable" is often used to describe someone who is favorably disposed to a particular named something.

Origin and Etymology of amenable

Anglo-French, from amener to bring, compel, from a- (from Latin ad-) + mener to lead, from Late Latin minare to drive, from Latin minari to threaten — more at mount

Synonym Discussion of amenable

responsible, answerable, accountable, amenable, liable mean subject to being held to account. responsible implies holding a specific office, duty, or trust.
    • the bureau responsible for revenue collection
answerable suggests a relation between one having a moral or legal obligation and a court or other authority charged with oversight of its observance.
    • an intelligence agency answerable to Congress
accountable suggests imminence of retribution for unfulfilled trust or violated obligation.
    • elected officials are accountable to the voters
amenable and liable stress the fact of subjection to review, censure, or control by a designated authority under certain conditions.
    • laws are amenable to judicial review
    • not liable for the debts of the former spouse
obedient, docile, tractable, amenable mean submissive to the will of another. obedient implies compliance with the demands or requests of one in authority.
    • obedient to the government
docile implies a predisposition to submit readily to control or guidance.
    • a docile child
tractable suggests having a character that permits easy handling or managing.
    • tractable animals
amenable suggests a willingness to yield or cooperate because of a desire to be agreeable or because of a natural open-mindedness.
    • amenable to new ideas

AMENABLE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of amenable for English Language Learners

  • : willing to agree or to accept something that is wanted or asked for

  • : able to be controlled, organized, or affected by something

AMENABLE Defined for Kids


adjective ame·na·ble \ ə-ˈmē-nə-bəl , -ˈme- \

Definition of amenable for Students

: readily giving in or agreeing
  • The builders were amenable to our wishes.

Law Dictionary


adjective ame·na·ble \ ə-ˈmē-nə-bəl, -ˈme- \

legal Definition of amenable

1 : legally subject or answerable
  • the corporation is not amenable to suit in New York
2 a : suited by nature
  • an adult is not amenable to a juvenile treatment program
b : readily yielding, submitting, or cooperating
  • defendant is amenable to rehabilitation
  • National Law Journal


play \ə-ˌmē-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -ˌme-\ noun

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