nav·​i·​ga·​ble | \ ˈna-vi-gə-bəl How to pronounce navigable (audio) \

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 How to pronounce navigability (audio) \ noun
navigably \ ˈna-​vi-​gə-​blē How to pronounce navigably (audio) \ 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

The Arctic has become a markedly more contentious military and commercial environment as the changing climate has led to greater ice melt in the summer, opening more navigable waterways and leading to greater sea traffic in once-impassable lanes. Ben Kesling, WSJ, "Cold War Games: U.S. Is Preparing to Test the Waters in Icy Arctic," 11 Jan. 2019 There's a mobile app and maps are available, but trails are easily navigable and shielded from the desert sun. Laura Ratliff, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Best Day Trips from Dubai," 4 Mar. 2018 Streamline experience, which usually takes the form of easy returns, communicative customer service, and a navigable and shoppable website. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The rise of the direct-to-consumer home," 21 Dec. 2018 To prepare for the rising gray tide, Mayor Garcetti helped launch Purposeful Aging L.A. in 2016, a multiyear initiative to make the region more navigable for seniors. Zoie Matthew, Los Angeles Magazine, "How L.A. Is Prepping for the Rising Gray Tide," 10 May 2018 Located on a large, navigable river at the mouth of Matagorda Bay, residents can enjoy peaceful riverfront living in a quiet, gated community and boat from their own property to Matagorda Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Houston Chronicle, "Buyers can take advantage of buying opportunity in Matagorda Bay," 29 Apr. 2018 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

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

18 Apr 2019

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 How to pronounce navigable (audio) \

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 move or proceed with twists and turns

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