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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Like many department stores, Penney is struggling to remain relevant in an era when Americans are buying more online or from discounters. Anne D'innocenzio, Houston Chronicle, "Pandemic claims yet another retailer: J.C. Penney," 15 May 2020 And Biden, who became a senator a year after Richard Nixon’s history-making 1972 visit to Beijing, has been around for more of it than almost anyone still relevant in Washington., "Biden Championed Close China Ties and Then Xi Came Along," 11 May 2020 While it wasn't developed with a global pandemic in mind, the game feels very relevant in the current era of coronavirus stay-at-home measures. Trilby Beresford, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Independent Gamer: 'Arcade Spirits' Debuts on Switch, 'Fire Escape' Finds You in Lockdown," 1 May 2020 Several weeks later, the podcast’s raison d’etre was even more relevant in parts of the world, especially the US, where a full understanding of the pandemic’s consequences was still emerging. Lila Maclellan, Quartz, "Where to find delight during a coronavirus quarantine," 30 Mar. 2020 The Blazers haven’t made the NCAA Tournament or NIT since 2016, and haven’t been relevant in the state since former coach Jarod Haase left for Stanford. Joseph Goodman |, al, "Andy Kennedy’s return comes at critical time for UAB," 20 Mar. 2020 McShane: My personal views on the nickname are not relevant in this, or any, issue brought to the school board. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Four candidates square off for two seats on the Menomonee Falls School Board," 18 Mar. 2020 Our ability to be relevant in schools will create more fans and kids who want to be mushers, who want to put programs in schools, school teams. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "New Iditarod executive director talks increased purses, TV deals and other ways to grow the race," 6 Mar. 2020 The current and future trend connection is relevant in the color names, too, like Pink Cosmos and its tie to the boom of astrology-lovers. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, "Pantone Adds 315 New Colors to Its Fashion, Home, and Interiors Color System," 4 Mar. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about relevant

Time Traveler for relevant

Time Traveler

The first known use of relevant was circa 1540

See more words from the same year

Statistics for relevant

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Relevant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!