eligible

adjective
el·​i·​gi·​ble | \ ˈe-lə-jə-bəl How to pronounce eligible (audio) \

Definition of eligible

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : qualified to participate or be chosen eligible to retire
b : permitted under football rules to catch a forward pass
2 : worthy of being chosen an eligible young bachelor

eligible

noun
plural eligibles

Definition of eligible (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person or thing that is qualified or permitted to do or be something : one that is eligible for something As with the College of Cardinals and the papacy, where every cardinal, in theory, is eligible to be Pope but the number of real eligibles is substantially smaller, so with the American Presidency.— Stephen R. Graubard … when she entered life, beautiful, accomplished, and an heiress, she had, of course, all the eligibles … of the other sex sighing at her feet …— Harriet Beecher Stowe

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from eligible

Adjective

eligibility \ ˌe-​lə-​jə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce eligibility (audio) \ noun
eligibly \ ˈe-​lə-​jə-​blē How to pronounce eligibly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of eligible in a Sentence

Adjective

… more than six years since the fall of the Taliban, fewer than 30% of eligible girls are enrolled in schools, and the infrastructure is so poor that only a tiny fraction are likely to get the education they need to enjoy the fruits of emancipation. — Aryn Baker, Time, 28 Jan. 2008 She wanted to start her own family. She was twenty-six and without prospects. At church her mother prayed, and at Crystal Nail, where she lacquered and lengthened, her mother asked customers about eligible young men. She kept Li En's graduation photo mounted in the right corner of her mirror, so that every customer would see her daughter, diploma in hand. — Max Apple, Atlantic, November 2003 I'd like to join but I'm not eligible yet.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

All print subscriptions are eligible for an upgrade to Print + Online for an additional $20.00 per year, which allows for full access to our complete archives. The New York Review of Books, "Subscription Rates," 17 June 2019 Zubac is eligible for a one-year qualifying offer worth $1.9 million, having just missed meeting the starter criteria. Andrew Greif, latimes.com, "Clippers prepare for offseason with Kawhi Leonard and big decisions in mind," 14 June 2019 About those highlights: Under current law, undocumented children up to age 19 are eligible for Medi-Cal, the state health care program for the poor. George Skelton, The Mercury News, "Skelton: Don’t like Newsom budget? Blame California GOP," 14 June 2019 Lightfoot was asked about the project at an unrelated news conference and said what the developer received from Springfield was an opportunity to be eligible for federal dollars. Gregory Pratt, chicagotribune.com, "Mayor Lori Lightfoot says ‘jury’s out’ on whether One Central megadevelopment will proceed," 14 June 2019 Tips that lead to an arrest are eligible for a reward of up to $3,000. Tonya Alanez, sun-sentinel.com, "Search is on for blue Nissan involved in fatal hit-and-run," 14 June 2019 Songwriters are eligible for induction after writing hit songs for at least 20 years. Washington Post, "Missy Elliott, in tears, gets inducted into Songwriters Hall," 14 June 2019 Songwriters are eligible for induction after writing hit songs for at least 20 years. Anika Reed, USA TODAY, "Missy Elliott tears up as first female rapper inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame," 14 June 2019 Extensive employee benefits All full-time employees are eligible for the company-wide annual bonus program. Debra Gelbart, azcentral, "Equity Methods – Small Company Winner," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

More than 90% of students at the school are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, a measure of poverty. Ian Lovett And Tawnell D. Hobbs, WSJ, "Charter Schools Stay Open As Striking Teachers Decry Their Growth," 21 Jan. 2019 To insulate a core business eligible for the deduction, companies could put service businesses into entities paying higher tax rates. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "What’s a Service Business? That’s Now a Multibillion-Dollar Tax Question," 16 Oct. 2018 Congress initially made 90 percent of total income eligible for Social Security taxes, but indexed it to average wage growth. Ken Fisher, USA TODAY, "4 Social Security myths and the reasons why they're overblown," 24 June 2018 Up to 18 qualified 3-year-old fillies may make the field, along with as many as four also-eligibles, for the 1 1/8-mile race set for 6:12 p.m. Friday, May 4. Chris White, The Courier-Journal, "How to stream the 2018 Kentucky Oaks post position draw show," 30 Apr. 2018 The state's interpretation of who is eligible has prompted a new lawsuit by relatives and others who claim the state has wrongly denied them foster pay. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky families face heartbreaking wait for Kinship Care money," 3 July 2018 The charge is death-penalty eligible, although that decision has not yet been made, Cullen said. Washington Post, "Hate crime charges leveled after Charlottesville attack," 29 June 2018 Students at her school struggle with poverty, with nearly 90 percent eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Principal: Why does a 'D' school face 'the same consequence as a sex offender'?," 29 May 2018 Weinstein was the sole incumbent on the County Council eligible for re-election. Kate Magill, Howard County Times, "Howard County Council incumbent ousted in primary by two votes," 6 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of eligible

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for eligible

Adjective

Middle English, from Late Latin eligibilis, from Latin eligere to choose — more at elect

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about eligible

Statistics for eligible

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for eligible

The first known use of eligible was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for eligible

eligible

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of eligible

: able to be chosen for something : able to do or receive something
: suitable and desirable for marriage

eligible

adjective
el·​i·​gi·​ble | \ ˈe-li-jə-bəl How to pronounce eligible (audio) \

Kids Definition of eligible

: qualified to be chosen, to participate, or to receive You're eligible for a loan.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on eligible

Spanish Central: Translation of eligible

Nglish: Translation of eligible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eligible for Arabic Speakers

Comments on eligible

What made you want to look up eligible? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!