leg·​i·​ble | \ˈle-jə-bəl \

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 \ noun
legibly \ ˈle-​jə-​blē \ 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

Microsoft has simplified the space, shrinking the ribbon into something smaller and more legible. David Pierce, WSJ, "Microsoft Is Fixing Office, but Not Fast Enough," 17 June 2018 By contrast, his Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, avoids cursive altogether in favor of an aggressively legible signature on the dollar bill. Danny Hakim, New York Times, "Signing Off on Signing Credit-Card Receipts," 14 Apr. 2018 Maybe her apparent lack of legible blackness — of grit, stank and swagger — made a striking contrast with his abundance of it. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "Review: ‘Whitney,’ a Pop Music Tragedy, Is Sad, Strange and Dismaying," 5 July 2018 Less legible than your doctor’s tossed-off chicken scratch, more erratic than your first-grader’s exercise book scribble. Yang-yi Goh, GQ, "The Best Pens Under $10 Will Make Your Handwriting Legible," 25 June 2018 Forget about punctuation or making your handwriting pretty, even legible. Habib Sadeghi, Health.com, "Do This for 12 Minutes a Day to Release Negative Emotions," 21 June 2018 Other panels are raw canvas covered in cursive white text — barely legible writing in Setswana (the language of Botswana), or else dense academic jargon (the language of the university). Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "The art of daily existence: Meleko Mokgosi's provocative show at the UCLA Fowler Museum," 7 May 2018 There were two lines on the drugstore test stick, but the second was barely legible. Anndee Hochman, Philly.com, "The Parent Trip: Alisha Glennon and Jeffrey Stacey of Mount Airy," 8 May 2018 Try to imagine a legible New York City subway map without color. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "‘Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color’ Review: Vibrant From Any Angle," 26 May 2018

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

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

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English Language Learners Definition of legible

: capable of being read : clear enough to be read


leg·​i·​ble | \ˈle-jə-bəl \

Kids Definition of legible

: clear enough to be read legible writing

Other Words from legible

legibly \ -​blē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on legible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for legible

Spanish Central: Translation of legible

Nglish: Translation of legible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of legible for Arabic Speakers

Comments on legible

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by force of circumstances

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