rel·​e·​vance | \ ˈre-lə-vən(t)s How to pronounce relevance (audio) \

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 Of course, this relevance drain is not unique to baseball, or virtually anything that’s not the NFL. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Was Derek Jeter MLB's last celebrity? Hall of Fame voting shines spotlight on baseball's withering relevance," 3 Jan. 2020 Indiana wants relevance in the Big Ten, and to make these kinds of seasons a baseline, rather than a celebrated exception. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: How Indiana football put together its best season in 25 years," 1 Jan. 2020 The UConn program, too, has moved on from that nightmarish spring, making a new start with Dan Hurley, and can take big step toward regaining national relevance against Indiana in the late game. Dom Amore,, "Dom Amore: Former UConn basketball player Steven Enoch finds his way at top-ranked Louisville," 9 Dec. 2019 Alliance leaders carry the responsibility to articulate NATO’s common purpose and ongoing relevance. Washington Post, "NATO under friendly fire as leaders ready for London summit," 2 Dec. 2019 On SHIFT’s website, Shimazaki saw photos of people of color, read that cultural relevance was one of the organization’s main pillars, and that it was committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the outdoor industry. Christine Yu, Outside Online, "What Happened at the SHIFT Festival?," 25 June 2019 Photo by Brad Horrigan | (Brad Horrigan/The Hartford Courant) Once more, the UConn men knocked on the door of national relevance. Dom Amore,, "Huskies push it to the limit, but fall to Indiana, 57-54, at Madison Square Garden," 11 Dec. 2019 Indiana doesn’t get to talk about winning anything of relevance until this stops happening every season. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "For IU basketball, blowout losses like this have become far too commonplace," 7 Dec. 2019 These often include call logs and videos of no obvious relevance to the apps themselves. The Economist, "Chinese netizens get privacy-conscious," 7 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for relevance

Time Traveler

The first known use of relevance was in 1787

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Statistics for relevance

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Relevance.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for relevance


rel·​e·​vance | \ ˈre-lə-vəns How to pronounce relevance (audio) \

Kids Definition of relevance

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


rel·​e·​vance | \ ˈre-lə-vəns How to pronounce relevance (audio) \

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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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