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

Keep scrolling for more

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

While the service's main message covers historical aspect of various significant tragedies that befell the Jewish people on that particular time in history, Boxman noted that the second part of it will deal with these events' relevance today. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "Temples plan observances of Tisha B'Av, saddest day in Jewish history," 13 July 2018 The show has it all: good characters, good plot, and good acting (by Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, and James Callis, for example) as well as deeper meaning and relevance. The Christian Science Monitor, "What are you watching? Readers recommend 'Rake,' 'Wallander'," 8 June 2018 Japan remains a manufacturing powerhouse but has lost global cultural relevance. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Carlos Ghosn, a Victim of Old Japan," 21 Dec. 2018 Like many retailers, Bed Bath & Beyond has been adjusting its physical stores to maintain their relevance in the era of online shopping and home delivery. Benjamin Romano, The Seattle Times, "Bed Bath & Beyond will close its downtown Seattle store," 27 Aug. 2018 Gone are the days when dancing on tables and posting naked selfies—a Kim Kardashian staple—established your pop-culture relevance. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Are Marriage and Babies the New Naked Selfie?," 27 July 2018 In the early aughts, Black Radiance lost relevance as other brands like MAC and Bobbi Brown amped up their beauty options for women of color. Elizabeth Wellington,, "From jail to celebrity makeup artist, Jacen Bowman is keeping Black Radiance relevant | Elizabeth Wellington," 8 Mar. 2018 The long road back to tennis relevance had an abrupt off-ramp Saturday as Serena Williams suffered a rare Wimbledon defeat. Sam Farmer,, "Humble Kerber Ends Serena's Comeback Trail In Wimbledon Final," 14 July 2018 Netflix’s reliance on documentaries to beef up its library of original content may have helped spur the genre to new relevance. David Sims, The Atlantic, "What’s Driving Documentaries to Box-Office Success?," 11 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of relevance

1787, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about relevance

Dictionary Entries near relevance








Statistics for relevance

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for relevance

The first known use of relevance was in 1787

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!