ger·​mane | \ (ˌ)jər-ˈmān How to pronounce germane (audio) \

Definition of germane

1 : being at once relevant and appropriate : fitting omit details that are not germane to the discussion
2 obsolete : closely akin

Other Words from germane

germanely adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for germane

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?

"Wert thou a Leopard, thou wert Germane to the Lion." So wrote William Shakespeare in his tragic play Timon of Athens, using an old (and now-obsolete) sense of germane meaning "closely akin." Germane derives from the Latin word germen, meaning "bud" or "sprout," which is also at the root of our verb germinate, meaning "to sprout" or "to begin to develop." An early sense of germane referred specifically to children of the same parents, who were perhaps seen as being like buds on a single tree. Again, we turn to Shakespeare, who composed this dark line in The Winter's Tale: "Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make heavy and vengeance bitter; but those that are germane to him … shall all come under the hangman…."

Examples of germane in a Sentence

The press material for this film contains some notes made by the Dardenne brothers during the shooting. Such material is usually disposable, but these notes are germane.. — Stanley Kauffmann, New Republic, 3 Feb. 2003 Bork and his supporters argued that his "academic" writings and his speeches were not germane to whether he should be confirmed. — Elizabeth Drew, New Yorker, 2 Nov. 1987 From time to time, engineers and scientists hold conferences … where they trot out ideas they have developed, frequently ideas germane to solving practical problems. — Jane Jacobs, Cities and the Wealth of Nations, (1984) 1985 facts germane to the dispute my personal opinion isn't germane to our discussion of the facts of the case
Recent Examples on the Web Danielle Weston, a board member who also expressed skepticism about Azaiez from the beginning, told Fox News board members would allow non-germane comments at the many school board meetings. Tyler O'neil, Fox News, 12 Jan. 2022 With no hope of talking SB 1 to death, Alvarado was allowed to continue as Republicans declined to call the points of order that — if upheld three times for non-germane discussions — would have ended the filibuster. Chuck Lindell, USA TODAY, 12 Aug. 2021 Giuliani’s press release was directly germane to Yovanovitch’s testimony. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 16 Nov. 2019 Apply your spare time to studying a subject that is germane to your career. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 10 Nov. 2019 The fact that the owner was not the person (involved in the alleged prostitution) does not really seem to be germane to our ordinances. John Sharp |, al, 23 Oct. 2019 Because some recent winters have been wet and California’s big reservoirs are fuller than average, prophesies of a dry year ahead are not as worrisome, though the question of snow remains germane. Kurtis Alexander,, 17 Oct. 2019 But prosecutors can counter that the past misconduct is not germane to the specific case being tried. Max Londberg,, 10 Oct. 2019 But at this point, the most germane and crucial happenings in the Hub of Hardball in 2019 aren’t going to take place on the field during the season. Globe Staff,, 21 Aug. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of germane

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for germane

Middle English germain, literally, having the same parents, from Anglo-French

Learn More About germane

Time Traveler for germane

Time Traveler

The first known use of germane was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About germane

Dictionary Entries Near germane

germander speedwell


German East Africa

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for germane

Cite this Entry

“Germane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on germane

Nglish: Translation of germane for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about germane


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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