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 Correspondent Tracy Smith talks with Sorkin about the relevance of the story to today. CBS News, "This week on "Sunday Morning" (October 4)," 2 Oct. 2020 Everyone on the long list of rolling credits deserves praise for pulling off this show, but the stakes of relevance are much higher now than before the pandemic, when the production was first planned. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "Live, Urgent, but With a Slightly Recycled Feel," 27 Sep. 2020 Rolle’s civil lawyer, Sue-Ann Robinson, dismissed the relevance of the admission. Rafael Olmeda,, "Deputy says he was being ‘assaulted’ by teen Delucca Rolle in beating arrest," 24 Sep. 2020 Former Xerox Holdings chief executive Ursula Burns, now a senior adviser at the CEO consulting firm Teneo, said the alliance is beginning with a focus on Black directors because of the relevance in the current discussions on race. Jeff Green,, "Focus on Black Directors Has Latinos Asking: What About Us?," 18 Sep. 2020 While this metal sculpture by the late artist Louise Nevelson is plainly visible at the intersection of Maiden Lane and William Street in Lower Manhattan, its relevance in the art world is far less known. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, "Eight Works of Art Hiding in New York City," 22 Sep. 2020 But the company had hired Mr. Zucker in 2013 to restore its relevance at a moment when the internet had replaced TV as a source of the newest information. Ben Smith, New York Times, "Jeff Zucker Helped Create Donald Trump. That Show May Be Ending.," 20 Sep. 2020 Even before the pandemic, industry watchers said Black Friday has been losing its relevance with shoppers in recent years. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, "Home Depot cancels Black Friday," 9 Sep. 2020 These programs represent alumni bases that are among the biggest in this country and their cultural relevance extends far and wide, where state pride is at stake any time the major public university’s football team takes the field. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Big Ten isn't willing participant in Trump's game of political football: '(Bleep) no'," 1 Sep. 2020

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

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Relevance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 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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