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ap·​ro·​pos ˌa-prə-ˈpō How to pronounce apropos (audio)
: being both relevant and opportune
apropos comments


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: with regard to (something) : apropos of
Apropos the proposed changes, I think more information is needed.


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: at an opportune time : seasonably
Your letter arrived apropos.
: by way of interjection or further comment : with regard to the present topic

Did you know?

Apropos wears its ancestry like a badge—or a beret. From the French phrase à propos, meaning “to the purpose,” the word’s emphasis lands on its last syllable, which ends in a silent “s”: \ap-ruh-POH. Apropos typically functions as an adjective describing what is suitable or appropriate (“an apropos comment”), or as a preposition (with or without of) meaning “with regard to,” as in “apropos (of) the decision, implementation will take some time.” The phrase “apropos of nothing” suggests that something does not relate to a specified topic.

Choose the Right Synonym for apropos

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 apropos in a Sentence

Adjective This short yet spacious and powerful book … reminds us of the careful and apropos writing of J.M. Coetzee, W.G. Sebald and Uwe Timm. Thomas McGuane, New York Times Book Review, 24 June 2007
The late Kenneth Koch's description of Ashbery as "lazy and quick" remains thoroughly apropos; these 61 page-or-two poems can seem brilliantly tossed off, much like those in his 2000 collection, Your Name Here. The title is appropriate too: Chinese Whispers is the British name for the game of Telephone, where children (or adults) gather in a circle and whisper a "secret" word or phrase into the ear next to them. Publishers Weekly, 19 Aug. 2002
The ceremony concluded with the reading of an apropos poem. The comment, though unexpected, was apropos. Adverb I went up to New York last weekend; apropos, have you seen your New York cousins lately?
Recent Examples on the Web
Prince William complemented her look nicely in a green velvet suit, which felt very apropos. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 17 Oct. 2021 The building's walls of windows gaze out on the pine groves, and the dining room is oriented around a central open fireplace, making the forest-meets-hearth influence feel particularly apropos. Lila Battis, Travel + Leisure, 1 Sep. 2021 Mike Zimmer's cabin motif with game mounted on the walls was apropos. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2020 As much as the draft not being held in Las Vegas is missing out on a spectacle, the virtual version might be far more apropos for Herbert, who will celebrate from home with his family. oregonlive, 23 Apr. 2020 If ever there was an apropos song for the most unfortunate of endings to a season that held so much promise. oregonlive, 13 Mar. 2020 John gets all the credit for the apropos CROSS THE BORDER and I NEED SOME SPACE bonuses. New York Times, 26 Feb. 2020 But, considering the way things unfolded for the Blazers on Thursday, his humor was also apropos. oregonlive, 7 Feb. 2020 The group called itself Women to the Front (WTTF, an apropos acronym). Natalie Gontcharova, refinery29.com, 30 Jan. 2020 See More

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

Word History


Adjective, Preposition, and Adverb

French à propos, literally, to the purpose

First Known Use


1686, in the meaning defined above


1751, in the meaning defined above


1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of apropos was in 1668


Dictionary Entries Near apropos

Cite this Entry

“Apropos.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apropos. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adverb
ap·​ro·​pos ˌap-rə-ˈpō How to pronounce apropos (audio)
: at the right time


2 of 2 adjective
: being to the point : pertinent

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