leg·​i·​ble | \ ˈle-jə-bəl How to pronounce legible (audio) \

Definition of legible

1 : capable of being read or deciphered : plain legible handwriting
2 : capable of being discovered or understood murder sweltered in his heart and was legible upon his face— Thomas Wolfe

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Other Words from legible

legibility \ ˌle-​jə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce legible (audio) \ noun
legibly \ ˈle-​jə-​blē How to pronounce legible (audio) \ adverb

Examples of legible in a Sentence

The document is not legible. an anxious mood that was clearly legible upon her face
Recent Examples on the Web Watching Joseph’s father try to hook up a washing machine, refusing help, while everyone else just stands around — frustrated, but quiet about it — gains power from being so emotionally legible. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 28 Sep. 2021 According to a report, the license plate had been removed, the VIN was not legible, and the car had been set on fire. orlandosentinel.com, 27 Sep. 2021 The coins were in such good condition that the inscriptions were legible, allowing the team to identify coins from the reign of a number of Roman emperors. Jack Guy, CNN, 23 Sep. 2021 In an age of self-indulgent polemics and pervasive disinformation, to listen to Duncan while washing dishes or folding laundry is to believe that historical events of immense complexity can be made legible. David Klion, The New Republic, 20 Aug. 2021 The symbol’s meaning would have been legible to a small social circle, according to Joseph Black, a University of Massachusetts historian specializing in Renaissance literature. V.m. Braganza, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Aug. 2021 The document was so old that only the couple's first names, William and Katey, were legible, according to ABC/CBS/CW+- affiliate WWAY. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, 13 Aug. 2021 The application form must be neat and legible, and filled out completely. courant.com, 9 Apr. 2021 According to a recent USA TODAY report, a barely legible handwritten will is at issue. Nick Vlahos Of The Journal Star, chicagotribune.com, 19 Feb. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for legible

Middle English, from Late Latin legibilis, from Latin legere to read

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Time Traveler for legible

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Legible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legible. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for legible



English Language Learners Definition of legible

: capable of being read : clear enough to be read


leg·​i·​ble | \ ˈle-jə-bəl How to pronounce legible (audio) \

Kids Definition of legible

: clear enough to be read legible writing

Other Words from legible

legibly \ -​blē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on legible

Nglish: Translation of legible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of legible for Arabic Speakers


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