adjective per·ti·nent \ ˈpər-tə-nənt , ˈpərt-nənt \
Updated on: 11 Mar 2018

Definition of pertinent

: having a clear decisive relevance to the matter in hand



Examples of pertinent in a Sentence

  1. At the dawn of the common-law court system, jurors took their places as residents of the neighborhood where the pertinent events had occurred, who were assumed to possess special knowledge of the facts and, more important, of every witness's credibility. —Hiller B. ZobelAmerican HeritageJuly/August 1995
  2. A more pertinent question than "What am I?" is "How can I be who I am and still hack it in America?" —C. Eric LincolnLure and Loathing1993
  3. But as my moment of fame ticks by, a more pertinent issue persists: What hath CNN wrought in the worlds of communications, of diplomacy, of politics? —Peter ArnettWashington Post25-31 Mar. 1991
  4. No recurrent symbolism in the Odyssey is more pertinent than the long and deliberate stripping its hero undergoes: of his ships, of his men, of his hopes, of his clothes, even of his very skin on the cliffs of Corfu. —John FowlesIsland1978
  5. he impressed the jury with his concise, pertinent answers to the attorney's questions

Recent Examples of pertinent from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pertinent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of pertinent

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin pertinent-, pertinens, present participle of pertinēre — see pertain

Synonym Discussion of pertinent

relevant, germane, material, pertinent, apposite, applicable, apropos mean relating to or bearing upon the matter in hand. relevant implies a traceable, significant, logical connection.
    • found material relevant to her case
germane may additionally imply a fitness for or appropriateness to the situation or occasion.
    • a point not germane to the discussion
material implies so close a relationship that it cannot be dispensed with without serious alteration of the case.
    • facts material to the investigation
pertinent stresses a clear and decisive relevance.
    • a pertinent observation
apposite suggests a felicitous relevance.
    • add an apposite quotation to the definition
applicable suggests the fitness of bringing a general rule or principle to bear upon a particular case.
    • the rule is not applicable in this case
apropos suggests being both relevant and opportune.
    • the quip was apropos

PERTINENT Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of pertinent for English Language Learners

  • : relating to the thing that is being thought about or discussed

PERTINENT Defined for Kids


adjective per·ti·nent \ ˈpər-tə-nənt \

Definition of pertinent for Students

: relating to the subject that is being thought about or discussed : relevant
  • a pertinent question

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to denote surfaces in relief on a map

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