ap·​ro·​pos | \ ˌa-prə-ˈpō How to pronounce apropos (audio) , ˈa-prə-ˌpō \

Definition of apropos

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: being both relevant and opportune apropos comments



Definition of apropos (Entry 2 of 3)

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



Definition of apropos (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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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

Did You Know?


English borrowed "apropos" from the French phrase à propos, literally "to the purpose." Since it first appeared in 1668, "apropos" has been used as an adverb, adjective, noun, and preposition. Left alone, the word probably wouldn't have gotten much attention, but in 1926 noted language expert H. W. Fowler declared that "apropos" should always be followed by "of." Since then, most commentators have felt compelled to take note of the term. Some take Fowler's recommendation to be virtually a commandment, but others note that "apropos" is sometimes used by itself in professionally edited prose, or, more rarely, followed by "to."

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?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The group called itself Women to the Front (WTTF, an apropos acronym). Natalie Gontcharova, refinery29.com, "Here’s What The Change-Makers Of 2016 Have Done With All That Big Activist Energy," 30 Jan. 2020 Though this new guard of nocino is made and used in novel ways, the spirit still makes an apropos ending to a rich holiday meal, in keeping with tradition, and it can be poured as a winter warmer all season long. Regan Stephens, Fortune, "This Italian Spirit Is Perfect for Holiday Drinking," 21 Dec. 2019 The Duchess of Cambridge stepped out for an engagement today in shades of khaki green and plum, apropos for the cooling October weather. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Carries a Chanel Bag While Wearing Wide-Leg Pants and a Knit Sweater," 9 Oct. 2019 The play also was apropos for a Mayde Creek team that couldn’t get out of its own way throughout the contest. Jason Mcdaniel Correspondent, Houston Chronicle, "Mayde Creek defeats Bush for landmark playoff win," 18 Nov. 2019 The Tide was sloppy — 13 penalties is the most in a game in Nick Saban’s 13 seasons — and the ending was apropos. George Schroeder, USA TODAY, "Football Four: Alabama's out, and now the debate shifts: Utah vs. Oklahoma or Baylor," 2 Dec. 2019 More apropos to the surroundings are garden suites like 'Blanc de Blanc,' an ultra-feminine yet clean all ivory and white room adorned with french molding and lace motifs. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inside London's Chicest New Hotel—and a One-Of-A-Kind Manor in Oxfordshire," 15 Nov. 2019 That Holzemer trained his camera on the portion of the anatomy that Margiela utilized to build his brand is apropos, given that manual craftsmanship drives high fashion. Bronwyn Cosgrave, The Hollywood Reporter, "New Martin Margiela Documentary Chronicles Fashion's Most Elusive Designer," 15 Nov. 2019 The fashion-forward touches seem apropos given the new ownership of Belmond under LVMH. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inside London's Chicest New Hotel—and a One-Of-A-Kind Manor in Oxfordshire," 15 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apropos.' 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 apropos


1686, in the meaning defined above


1751, in the meaning defined above


1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for apropos

Adjective, Preposition, and Adverb

French à propos, literally, to the purpose

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Time Traveler for apropos

Time Traveler

The first known use of apropos was in 1668

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Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Apropos.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apropos. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for apropos


How to pronounce apropos (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of apropos

: suitable or appropriate

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More from Merriam-Webster on apropos

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for apropos

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with apropos

Spanish Central: Translation of apropos

Nglish: Translation of apropos for Spanish Speakers

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