ap·​pli·​ca·​ble ˈa-pli-kə-bəl How to pronounce applicable (audio)
ə-ˈpli-kə- How to pronounce applicable (audio)
: capable of or suitable for being applied : appropriate
statutes applicable to the case
A fee is applicable when a scheduled payment is late.
ˌa-pli-kə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce applicable (audio)
 also  ə-ˌpli-kə-
Choose the Right Synonym for applicable

relevant, germane, material, pertinent, apposite, applicable, apropos mean relating to or bearing upon the matter in hand.

relevant implies a traceable, significant, logical connection.

found material relevant to her case

germane may additionally imply a fitness for or appropriateness to the situation or occasion.

a point not germane to the discussion

material implies so close a relationship that it cannot be dispensed with without serious alteration of the case.

facts material to the investigation

pertinent stresses a clear and decisive relevance.

a pertinent observation

apposite suggests a felicitous relevance.

add an apposite quotation to the definition

applicable suggests the fitness of bringing a general rule or principle to bear upon a particular case.

the rule is not applicable in this case

apropos suggests being both relevant and opportune.

the quip was apropos

Examples of applicable in a Sentence

Businesses must comply with all applicable laws. is that information applicable in this case?
Recent Examples on the Web For instance, the graduation rate is only applicable to those who graduate high school. Zachary Smith, cleveland, 14 Sep. 2023 The company explained that because Opera VPN Pro encrypts all device traffic, while the free VPN only encrypts Opera browser traffic, the feature isn't applicable. PCMAG, 13 Sep. 2023 SpaceX must implement all corrective actions that impact public safety and apply for and receive a license modification from the FAA that addresses all safety, environmental and other applicable regulatory requirements prior to the next Starship launch. Richard Lawler, The Verge, 8 Sep. 2023 Mandatory minimum sentences for crimes of violence are a critical tool to prosecutors and necessary to be requested when applicable to preserve our public safety. Katia Parks, Baltimore Sun, 5 Sep. 2023 However other companies in the private sector have argued that a shorter work-week may not be applicable to employees across all industries—for instance, in the healthcare space. Prarthana Prakash, Fortune, 4 Sep. 2023 The principles in the book are applicable in both work and interpersonal relationships. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 2 Sep. 2023 Right Now Workplace accommodations Workplace support doesn't end when any applicable leave does. Beth Ann Mayer, Parents, 24 Aug. 2023 These tips are not necessarily applicable to all areas of Oregon. oregonlive, 1 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'applicable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Middle French applicable, applicquable, borrowed from Medieval Latin applicābilis, from Latin applicāre "to bring into contact (with), apply" + -bilis "capable (of acting) or worthy (of being acted upon)" — more at -able

First Known Use

1548, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of applicable was in 1548

Dictionary Entries Near applicable

Cite this Entry

“Applicable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ap·​pli·​ca·​ble ˈap-li-kə-bəl How to pronounce applicable (audio)
ə-ˈplik-ə- How to pronounce applicable (audio)
: capable of being put to use or put into practice : appropriate
ˌap-li-kə-ˈbil-ət-ē How to pronounce applicable (audio)
 also  ə-ˌplik-ə-

More from Merriam-Webster on applicable

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