in·​el·​i·​gi·​ble | \ (ˌ)i-ˈne-lə-jə-bəl How to pronounce ineligible (audio) \

Definition of ineligible

: not eligible: such as
a : not qualified for an office or position
b : not permitted under football rules to catch a forward pass an ineligible receiver

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Other Words from ineligible

ineligibility \ (ˌ)i-​ˌne-​lə-​jə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce ineligible (audio) \ noun
ineligible noun

Examples of ineligible in a Sentence

Previously ineligible patients may now be able to participate in the study. They are ineligible for a loan.
Recent Examples on the Web At the Supreme Court, the administration argued that the justices should defer to the government’s reading of the relevant law in determining that the couple was ineligible for green cards. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Weighs Whether Protected Noncitizens Get Green Cards," 19 Apr. 2021 Lifelines like unemployment insurance and federal stimulus checks were out of reach because undocumented people are ineligible for most government aid. New York Times, "$2.1 Billion for Undocumented Workers Signals New York’s Progressive Shift," 8 Apr. 2021 After he was ruled ineligible to play high school basketball in West Virginia, Kuir and his guardian moved to South Williamson, Ky., and before the 2020-21 school year Kuir enrolled at Belfry, a school of about 600 in Eastern Kentucky. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "The 7-foot-3 'unicorn' in Eastern Kentucky: Get to know Belfry High School star Bol Kuir," 25 Mar. 2021 Players who transferred during the season are ineligible for the GEICO Nationals. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, "AZ Compass Prep overcomes 10-point deficit to beat Wasatch, advance to GEICO Nationals semifinal," 2 Apr. 2021 As a freshman, Bueckers is ineligible for the Wade Trophy, and Evans is a finalist for the award for the second-straight year alongside Kentucky's Rhyne Howard, Michigan's Naz Hillmon and Baylor's NaLyssa Smith, each of whom is 6-foot-2. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "The short list: Louisville's Dana Evans could be among shortest to win player of the year," 30 Mar. 2021 Also steer clear of anything that’s final sale, as those selects are ineligible for returns. Alexis Bennett, Vogue, "How to Buy a Wedding Dress Online: Tips, Tricks, and Gowns to Consider," 21 Mar. 2021 Institutional student debts are typically ineligible for federal student loan relief and forgiveness programs. Adam S. Minsky, Forbes, "Education Department: Colleges Can Use Stimulus Funds To Cancel Some Student Debt," 19 Mar. 2021 Research involving human embryos and blastocysts is currently ineligible for federal funding in the U.S., and several states prohibit it outright. NBC News, "Scientists say they've peeked into the 'black box' of early human development," 17 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ineligible.' 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 ineligible

1770, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ineligible

French inéligible, from in- + éligible eligible

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Time Traveler for ineligible

Time Traveler

The first known use of ineligible was in 1770

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Statistics for ineligible

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ineligible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for ineligible



English Language Learners Definition of ineligible

: not allowed to do or be something : not eligible


in·​el·​i·​gi·​ble | \ i-ˈne-lə-jə-bəl How to pronounce ineligible (audio) \

Kids Definition of ineligible

: not qualified to be chosen or used He was ineligible for financial aid.

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