adjective rel·e·vant \ˈre-lə-vənt\

Definition of relevant

  1. 1a :  having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at handb :  affording evidence tending to prove or disprove the matter at issue or under discussion relevant testimonyc :  having social relevance

  2. 2 :  proportional, relative



Examples of relevant in a sentence

  1. … the sport [men's tennis] is so invisible to the American fan that it's in danger of becoming as relevant as—gasp—soccer —Mike Freeman, NewYork Times, 1 Sept. 2002

  2. Mendelian genetics is no more relevant to understanding heredity in the real world than Euclidean geometry is to understanding the shape of an oak tree. —Matt Ridley, Genome, 1999

  3. But it is much less relevant when the question becomes, as it should, “What, then, must we do with and for the one third or so of black America that seems to be permanently alienated from the structures of opportunity in this society?” —Glenn C. Loury, Atlantic, November 1997

  4. The smallest distance that is relevant to measurement today is something like 10-17 centimeters, which is how far a thing called the Z0 (see zero) can travel before it departs our world. —Leon Lederman et al., The God Particle, 1993

  5. The ideas and observations expressed in the book are still relevant today.

  6. make sure your comments during the interview are short and relevant

Origin and Etymology of relevant

Medieval Latin relevant-, relevans, from Latin, present participle of relevare to raise up — more at relieve

First Known Use: circa 1540

Synonym Discussion of relevant

relevant, germane, material, pertinent, apposite, applicable, apropos mean relating to or bearing upon the matter in hand. relevant implies a traceable, significant, logical connection. found material relevant to her case germane may additionally imply a fitness for or appropriateness to the situation or occasion. a point not germane to the discussion material implies so close a relationship that it cannot be dispensed with without serious alteration of the case. facts material to the investigation pertinent stresses a clear and decisive relevance. a pertinent observation apposite suggests a felicitous relevance. add an apposite quotation to the definition applicable suggests the fitness of bringing a general rule or principle to bear upon a particular case. the rule is not applicable in this case apropos suggests being both relevant and opportune. the quip was apropos

RELEVANT Defined for English Language Learners


adjective rel·e·vant \ˈre-lə-vənt\

Definition of relevant for English Language Learners

  • : relating to a subject in an appropriate way

RELEVANT Defined for Kids


adjective rel·e·vant \ˈre-lə-vənt\

Definition of relevant for Students

  1. :  having something to do with the matter at hand a relevant question

Law Dictionary


adjective rel·e·vant \ˈre-lə-vənt\

Legal Definition of relevant

  1. 1 :  tending logically to prove or disprove a fact of consequence or to make the fact more or less probable and thereby aiding the trier of fact in making a decision determined that the evidence was relevant; also :  having a bearing on or reasonably calculated to lead to a matter that bears on any issue in a case for purposes of pretrial discovery — see also relevant evidence at evidence

  2. 2 :  having significant and demonstrable bearing on facts or issues was not a relevant case

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up relevant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


feeling or affected by lethargy

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • ludwig-richter-spring-has-arrived
  • Which is a synonym of upbraid?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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