rel·e·vance | \ ˈre-lə-vən(t)s \

Definition of relevance 

1a : relation to the matter at hand

b : practical and especially social applicability : pertinence giving relevance to college courses

2 : the ability (as of an information retrieval system) to retrieve material that satisfies the needs of the user

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Examples of relevance in a Sentence

I appreciate that you did the dishes tonight, but that has no relevance to my enforcement of the punishment you got earlier this week.

Recent Examples on the Web

Venture capitalists worried about losing their relevance in the region want to stay invested. The Economist, "Chinese and US tech giants go at it in emerging markets," 5 July 2018 Their ongoing relevance is underscored by the current edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale, which focuses as much on the quality of spaces between buildings as on knock-your-eyes-out works of architecture. Blair Kamin,, "For July 4th, four architectural freedoms," 2 July 2018 Their questionable relevance raises the possibility that they were motivated by someone with a different agenda who perhaps fed false information to the former spy. Washington Post, "Some questions in Trump-Russia dossier now finding answers," 29 June 2018 Some wanted it to be saved as an historic landmark due to its local relevance but progress won out. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Memories of murals outside departed Montrose gay bar Mary's still live on," 22 June 2018 And ABC News' notable shift away from hard news coverage, perhaps in search of viewers, has reduced its relevance in the news ecosystem in the eyes of some observers. Brian Flood, Fox News, "Disney selling ABC News’ longtime headquarters as trouble looms for embattled TV stars, journalists," 13 June 2018 Though balls continued, their relevance in the mainstream never truly caught on, relegated to oral histories and academic texts. Jason Parham, WIRED, "With Pose, Prestige TV Becomes Resistance TV," 1 June 2018 Microsoft might be facing questions over its relevance to consumers, but its stock price is now close to passing $100 per share. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Microsoft is now more valuable than Google," 30 May 2018 For The Congress Many Indians see the Congress as a crumbling party that has lost some of its national relevance after losing a string of state elections over the last few years. Kamakshi Ayyar, Time, "Here's What a Recent State-Level Vote Reveals About India's 2019 General Elections," 24 May 2018

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

1787, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for relevance

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for relevance

The first known use of relevance was in 1787

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More Definitions for relevance


rel·e·vance | \ ˈre-lə-vəns \

Kids Definition of relevance

: relation to the matter at hand Your comments lack relevance.


rel·e·vance | \ ˈre-lə-vəns \

Legal Definition of relevance 

: the quality or state of being relevant : relation to the matter at hand ruled on the relevance of the testimony relevance in discovery has been broadly interpreted

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Comments on relevance

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


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