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

As a Big East member, UConn will face schools that greater carry relevance to the network’s viewers, including tri-state area opponents St. John’s and Seton Hall. Alex Putterman,, "SNY president optimistic about UConn relationship, open to broadcasting Huskies football," 27 June 2019 In searching for a pretext to invade Iraq, the United States had given Zarqawi what bin Laden had refused him: relevance. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "The Law That Makes It Easy to Go to War with Iran," 27 June 2019 Without effective global leaders with the political clout to push reform these institutions will likely continue to lose impact and relevance. Bill George, Fortune, "Why the Era of Free Trade May Be Coming to an End," 25 June 2019 The show's relevance is slowly waning as some studios and developers rely less on big annual press conferences and more on Twitch streams or internally produced YouTube videos to reach fans. Carolyn Petit, WIRED, "Female Representation in Videogames Isn't Getting Any Better," 14 June 2019 Give Jesse Saint John's playlist a spin, and check out his track-by-track reflections on each bop's relevance to his own journey and come-up in the biz below. Nick Williams, Billboard, "Listen to Star Songwriter & Rising Pop Singer Jesse Saint John's Pride-Themed #TBT Mixtape," 13 June 2019 Forced into the political wilderness, much of Siege feels like a relevance play—Bannon using Wolff to cast himself as Trump’s pied piper. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is There a Right Way to Cover the Trump White House?," 6 June 2019 When Keeneland announced its intention to return to dirt in 2014, the Washington Post’s influential Andrew Beyer saw it as a step toward regained relevance for the track. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "'We bury our heads': Horsemen prefer dirt tracks even though they lead to more fatalities," 22 May 2019 No gender is exempted from state terror, and part of this show’s particular relevance to our time involves the intimate acquaintance with state terror that many of its artists had. Esther Allen, The New York Review of Books, "Returning the Gaze, with a Vengeance," 8 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.

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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

13 Jul 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

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characterized by aphorism

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