nav·​i·​ga·​ble | \ˈna-vi-gə-bəl \

Definition of navigable 

1a : deep enough and wide enough to afford passage to ships navigable waterways

b : capable of being navigated navigable terrain

2 : capable of being steered

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Other Words from navigable

navigability \ˌna-​vi-​gə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
navigably \ˈna-​vi-​gə-​blē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for navigable


negotiable, passable


impassable (also impassible), unnegotiable, unpassable

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Examples of navigable in a Sentence

The marsh was navigable only by canoe. this map shows which rivers are navigable and which aren't

Recent Examples on the Web

Here are oceans of contingencies navigable only by an alternative race of extraterrestrials: the angels of heaven. Brad Leithauser, WSJ, "‘The Grandmaster’ Review: The 64-Square Universe," 8 Nov. 2018 Photo: Michael Short/Getty Images Rio Negro, South America At just over 430 navigable miles, the Rio Negro is the world's largest blackwater river, and forms the border between Colombia and Venezuela. Brynn Mannino, Woman's Day, "10 Extraordinary Rivers Around the World," 15 Oct. 2010 And with some of Africa’s most navigable roads, self-drive travel has exploded, especially among millennials eager for Instagram fodder. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Your Next Safari Should Be in Namibia," 6 Nov. 2018 Her new book, Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief, questions the popular wisdom, established in 1969 by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, that grief comes in five navigable phases: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. Kate Branch, Vogue, "How I Learned to Grieve the Loss of My Dad in the Age of Instagram," 6 Oct. 2018 Schuett Farms Highway 83 and Road X, Mukwonago 262-968-4348 Pumpkin picking, smartphone-navigable corn maze and hayrides. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "2017 Guide to fall fun in metro Milwaukee," 28 Aug. 2017 In March, Kevin Pearson, a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, introduced a bill making clear that the state’s navigable water bodies are public property. Christopher Flavelle,, "The Fighting Has Begun Over Who Owns Land Drowned by Climate Change," 25 Apr. 2018 If the property is unfenced and uncultivated, it must be posted at all corners, and boundaries that intersect navigable streams, roads, gates and rights of way, or posted in a way that a reasonable person would know it’s private property. Eric Barker, idahostatesman, "Headed outdoors? Make sure you know about Idaho's new trespassing law," 9 July 2018 For some, the road to professional success is winding but ultimately navigable. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "An Exclusive Club at Wimbledon: Champions as Juniors and Adults," 5 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for navigable

Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for navigable

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

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English Language Learners Definition of navigable

: deep and wide enough for boats and ships to travel on or through : capable of being navigated


nav·​i·​ga·​ble | \ˈna-vi-gə-bəl \

Kids Definition of navigable

1 : deep enough and wide enough to permit passage of ships a navigable river

2 : possible to steer a navigable balloon

Other Words from navigable

navigability \ˌna-​vi-​gə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun

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Comments on navigable

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


to enclose within walls

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