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

The relevance of Big’s story in 2019 shows that this struggle is one that continues to exist for young black people, even decades after the original was penned. Prince Shakur, Teen Vogue, ""Native Son" Reflects a World Where Young Black Men Are Often Set Up to Fail," 16 Apr. 2019 As baseball’s July 31 trade deadline approaches, the upcoming free-agent class will take on even greater relevance. Alex Putterman, The Atlantic, "The Long Shadow of MLB's Next Free-Agent Class," 20 May 2018 Proposals other than what’s essentially more business are brushed aside, or else patched over with a type of liberal politics that’s heavy on rhetorical flair but light on relevance outside privileged circles. John Benjamin, The New Republic, "Business Class," 14 May 2018 That question took on extra relevance after CNN's Kevin Liptak reported that Cohen was among Trump's dinner guests on Saturday evening. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "After Stormy's big interview, Trump faces the storm alone," 26 Mar. 2018 Has advocating for women in music taken on a new relevance with Time’s Up and other initiatives? Sam Gillette,, "FIRST LOOK: Bobby Bones' New Book Explores How Failure Helps You Grow: 'Life Is Not All About the Wins'," 15 Mar. 2018 Fanning's Sara takes on new relevance in the current climate, as Sara is constantly harassed and abused as the only female employee at the police station. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: TNT's 'The Alienist' is a creepy good time," 19 Jan. 2018 The issue gained new relevance in December when CSX Corp. CEO Hunter Harrison and M&T Bank Corp. CEO Robert Wilmers died in the same weekend. Fortune, "President Trump Is Getting a Physical Exam. Is Your CEO Doing the Same?," 12 Jan. 2018 For all his nostalgic ties to the work, the actor— and playwright, composer, lyricist, and singer with the Pulitzers, Emmys, Grammys, and Tonys to prove it—articulated the show’s relevance in the current political climate. Ian Malone, Vogue, "Camelot Ruled the Stage at Lincoln Center Theater’s Benefit Gala," 5 Mar. 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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Statistics for relevance

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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