rel·​e·​vant | \ ˈre-lə-vənt How to pronounce relevant (audio) \

Definition of relevant

1a : having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand
b : affording evidence tending to prove or disprove the matter at issue or under discussion relevant testimony
c : having social relevance

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Other Words from relevant

relevantly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of relevant in a Sentence

… 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 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 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 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 The ideas and observations expressed in the book are still relevant today. make sure your comments during the interview are short and relevant
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Recent Examples on the Web ThoughtSpot’s software helps companies find relevant business information through a tool that works similar to a Google search bar. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "ThoughtSpot Names CFO As it Eyes Public Offering," 17 Jan. 2020 San Diego did not make the relevant medical information on Pomeranz available to the Red Sox prior to the trade. Andrew Mahoney,, "Alex Cora is gone, but Red Sox executives could still be punished. What’s the precedent?," 15 Jan. 2020 The authors speculate that in such cases, users typed in a prediction and looked up some relevant information on the match before quickly changing their mind. Washington Post, "People who second-guess themselves make worse decisions, study finds," 7 Jan. 2020 One former designer told me about using building information modeling to pinpoint information relevant to a worker’s happiness, such as where sunlight would fall across a desk; a former VP talked about cutting-edge prefab components. Margaret Rhodes, Fortune, "The Luminaries—Past and Present—Reimagining the Modern Office," 30 Dec. 2019 The speed of China’s recovery from Mao-era destitution may also be relevant. The Economist, "As China puts on weight, type-2 diabetes is soaring," 12 Dec. 2019 This may or may not be relevant, but her last name is Kozlowski. The New Yorker, "Will I Get a Plus-One?," 30 Nov. 2019 And with a style honed over 25 novels and more than 50 years, the author’s prose is crisp and compelling and the story is relevant to today’s turbulent times. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Prose is crisp, compelling in ‘Agent Running in the Field’," 21 Oct. 2019 Clearly, whatever the classmate had been referring to — whatever teenage drama had been unfolding at the time — was no longer relevant. Sherri Leimkuhler,, "Sherri Leimkuhler: A path to publication," 13 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'relevant.' 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 relevant

circa 1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for relevant

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

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Time Traveler for relevant

Time Traveler

The first known use of relevant was circa 1540

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Last Updated

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Relevant.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for relevant


How to pronounce relevant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of relevant

: relating to a subject in an appropriate way


rel·​e·​vant | \ ˈre-lə-vənt How to pronounce relevant (audio) \

Kids Definition of relevant

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


rel·​e·​vant | \ ˈre-lə-vənt How to pronounce relevant (audio) \

Legal Definition of relevant

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

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Comments on relevant

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


to assert without proof or before proving

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