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

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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 Shakespeare in Timon of Athens (circa 1607), 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 "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.

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
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Recent Examples on the Web Giuliani’s press release was directly germane to Yovanovitch’s testimony. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Breaking Down the Fallout from Marie Yovanovitch’s Testimony," 16 Nov. 2019 Apply your spare time to studying a subject that is germane to your career. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Nov. 10, 2019: Happy birthday Kiernan Shipka; Capricorn, organization helps realize goals," 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, "Massage parlor closures continue trend in Alabama," 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,, "California likely to see a dry winter, new federal report warns. But nothing’s certain," 17 Oct. 2019 But prosecutors can counter that the past misconduct is not germane to the specific case being tried. Max Londberg,, "Enquirer investigation: 70 cops with spotty records work in and around Cincinnati. Find out where.," 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,, "It’s time for a Red Sox reset," 21 Aug. 2019 His experience at Sky with different kinds of digital products and ARPU are very, very germane to a direct-to-consumer business and then Lachlan came back into the fold. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Redef CEO Jason Hirschhorn returns to Recode Media with Peter Kafka," 23 Aug. 2018 Why did Mark Zuckerberg not disclose him to Congress, especially when that would have been extremely germane to the subject of the hearing? David Carroll, WIRED, "The US Should Pay Attention to Foreign Cambridge Analytica Probes," 15 June 2018

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.

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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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Germane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of germane

formal : relating to a subject in an appropriate way

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