leg·​i·​ble ˈle-jə-bəl How to pronounce legible (audio)
: capable of being read or deciphered : plain
legible handwriting
: capable of being discovered or understood
murder sweltered in his heart and was legible upon his faceThomas Wolfe
legibility noun
legibly adverb

Example Sentences

The document is not legible. an anxious mood that was clearly legible upon her face
Recent Examples on the Web Several used alternative and experimental pronouns on large plaques translated into twelve or so languages – none of which were legible. Riley Van Steward, Forbes, 10 Jan. 2023 The Scribe, for starters, boasts a larger 10.2-inch display with a 300dpi resolution – helping ensure that text is legible and crisp. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 16 Dec. 2022 But instead of being arch and forbiddingly intellectual, the effect is immediately legible and engaging. David Benedict, Variety, 6 Dec. 2022 And so these Chili Peppers remain instantly legible and profoundly complicated, totally visceral and borderline mystical. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2022 As The Verge notes, Google Lens, its multipurpose object-recognition tool, can already transcribe handwritten notes, though messy handwriting is not legible. Marco Marcelline, PCMAG, 19 Dec. 2022 The state received 10,097 of them, 669 without legible postmarks. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 24 Oct. 2021 In order to guarantee a response from Santa and his elves, letters must be received by Dec. 17 at Santa's address: Santa ClausPO Box 1Santa Claus, IN 47579 Please ensure the return address is legible. Emma Quasny, The Indianapolis Star, 2 Dec. 2022 Despite the ancient creases and stains, its nine lines of flowing Latin script, translated long ago, were clearly legible. Jo Marchant, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near legible

Cite this Entry

“Legible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legible. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


leg·​i·​ble ˈlej-ə-bəl How to pronounce legible (audio)
: capable of being read : plain
legible handwriting
legibility noun
legibly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on legible

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