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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Servicemen and women who retired or were honorably discharged within the past 12 months are also eligible. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "Only Current Students, Recent Grads, and U.S. Military Can Buy This Mini," 14 May 2019 The oldest of us—I was born in 1982—are eligible to run for the presidency. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Boomer Bequest Is Millennial Misery," 13 May 2019 James Middleton, Kate Middleton's very eligible brother, is ready to make his new relationship public. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton's Brother James Shares a Photo with Alizee Thevenet, His New Girlfriend," 11 May 2019 Students who identify as women but were born male cannot enroll, however, and anyone who transitions from male to female will not be automatically eligible to receive a degree from the institution. Errin Haines Whack, The Seattle Times, "Morehouse College to admit transgender men starting in 2020," 14 Apr. 2019 Before Kate Middleton's sister got married to James Matthews in May 2017, she was linked to several eligible men, including Kingston. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gabriella Windsor's Fiancé, Tom Kingston, Used to Date Pippa Middleton & There Are Photos," 31 Mar. 2019 In this series, a BFF or entire squad get to pick out a date for their friend from a bunch of eligible singles. Seventeen Editors, Seventeen, "Do You Want To Star in An Episode of "Bestie Picks Bae"?," 25 Mar. 2019 Only legal residents of the 50 United States, including the District of Columbia, or Canada (except Quebec) are eligible to win. Adam Patrick Murray, PCWorld, "Giveaway: Win an Honor Play," 20 Mar. 2019 If that's the case, then her baby will be eligible for dual citizenship. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Baby Be an American Citizen?," 27 Apr. 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.

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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

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Statistics for eligible

Last Updated

22 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for eligible

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

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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.

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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

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