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

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 When a Republican legislator objected to the amendment as not being germane to the underlying bill, the Democratic majority stopped the debate. Christopher Keating,, "House Begins Debate On Casino Bill, Plans To Continue Friday Morning," 4 May 2018 Byrne said that any call for gun control would require careful scrutiny to see if proposals were germane to the situation and legally viable. Lawrence Specker,, "Byrne on Florida school shooting: 'Oversight' of FBI is top priority," 19 Feb. 2018 Whether there are good uses for the currencies isn’t really germane, and there don’t appear to be, at least not yet. Mark Zandi,, "Feel-good economy: U.S. experiences euphoria | Mark Zandi," 26 Jan. 2018 Or perhaps his anti-Trump, pro-Clinton sentiments were not germane to his mere copy editing or his reliance on a thesaurus. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many," 12 Dec. 2017 Second Circuit: The auction house must produce documents germane to the foreign litigation. Eugene Volokh, Washington Post, "Short Circuit: A roundup of recent federal court decisions," 4 Sep. 2017 The debate also could prove germane to another landmark campaign finance decision from the Supreme Court, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down aggregate contribution limits in federal elections from wealthy donors. Nick Corasaniti, New York Times, "At Menendez Trial, Legal Wrestling Over Definition of ‘Constituent’," 20 Sep. 2017

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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Time Traveler for germane

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

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English Language Learners Definition of germane

formal : relating to a subject in an appropriate way

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Spanish Central: Translation of germane

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

Comments on germane

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


something desired as essential

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