per·​ti·​nent | \ ˈpər-tə-nənt How to pronounce pertinent (audio) , ˈpərt-nənt \

Definition of pertinent

: having a clear decisive relevance to the matter in hand

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Other Words from pertinent

pertinently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of pertinent in a Sentence

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. Zobel, American Heritage, July/August 1995 A more pertinent question than "What am I?" is "How can I be who I am and still hack it in America?" — C. Eric Lincoln, Lure and Loathing, 1993 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 Arnett, Washington Post, 25-31 Mar. 1991 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 Fowles, Island, 1978 he impressed the jury with his concise, pertinent answers to the attorney's questions
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Recent Examples on the Web Among the queries especially pertinent to the Warriors is how the coronavirus will affect the team’s draft preparations. Connor Letourneau,, "What the NBA shutdown means for the Warriors: ‘too many questions’," 12 Mar. 2020 Something especially pertinent to this moment: Churchill was a warrior who threw insults like lightning bolts. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Churchill’s Adversaries Weren’t His Enemies," 20 Dec. 2018 Internet access is especially pertinent during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Yohannes Eneyew Ayalew, Quartz Africa, "Internet shutdowns have disrupted millions of lives in Ethiopia," 4 Apr. 2020 Schiff: The issue of how Ukraine has responded to the pressure campaign would be very pertinent. CBS News, "Schiff says intelligence agencies are withholding evidence on Ukraine "on the instruction of others"," 21 Jan. 2020 In the past, those costs were not necessarily pertinent because folks already had dogs in their yard. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Fewer people race sled dogs these days, and those who do take on big expenses," 1 Dec. 2019 The research is also pertinent given the Narendra Modi government’s plan to regulate and censor digital content. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "More Indian men than women favour censorship of content on video streaming platforms," 1 Nov. 2019 Here are some phrases that are not pertinent: Throuple. Monica Hesse, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: What actually mattered in the Katie Hill scandal — and what didn’t," 29 Oct. 2019 Merchandise is especially pertinent today: it can be picked, packed and shipped with CDs and LPs; and it can be listed on artist pages on YouTube and Spotify. Glenn Peoples, Billboard, "Music Companies' Keys to the Future: Build Up & Expand Out or Die Trying," 25 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of pertinent

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pertinent

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

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Time Traveler for pertinent

Time Traveler

The first known use of pertinent was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pertinent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for pertinent


How to pronounce pertinent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pertinent

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


per·​ti·​nent | \ ˈpər-tə-nənt How to pronounce pertinent (audio) \

Kids Definition of pertinent

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

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