re·​li·​able | \ ri-ˈlī-ə-bəl How to pronounce reliable (audio) \

Definition of reliable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : suitable or fit to be relied on : dependable
2 : giving the same result on successive trials



Definition of reliable (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is reliable

Other Words from reliable


reliableness noun
reliably \ ri-​ˈlī-​ə-​blē How to pronounce reliable (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for reliable

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of reliable in a Sentence

Adjective He's not very reliable. You can't always count on him to do what he says he'll do. We can't write a report without reliable data. We need more reliable information before we can take action.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Officials said the new plant would be more reliable, easier to operate, and improve the quality and appearance of the town’s water, which is currently often brown because of iron and manganese that a new treatment facility could remove. Johanna Seltz,, 23 May 2022 Certainly having a legal promise not to affect the district means that that portion of the district is reliable, because the law can’t be changed. The New Republic, 18 May 2022 On Wednesday, state media claimed a million people had already recovered from fever, though experts doubt the numbers being reported by North Korea are reliable. New York Times, 18 May 2022 Certain information has been provided by and/or is based on third party sources and, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified and Boyar Asset Management or any of its affiliates is not responsible for third-party errors. Jonathan Boyar, Forbes, 6 May 2022 And because of that mistake, the results for those problems turned out not to be reliable. Katie Hafner, Scientific American, 21 Apr. 2022 Case counts are no longer reliable because official testing and reporting has been scaled back and more Americans are testing at home. Carla K. Johnson,, 8 Apr. 2022 More equitable ways of paying for care require careful investigation and testing to ensure that equity measures are reliable and actually measure what they are supposed to measure. Amol Navathe, STAT, 30 Mar. 2022 Thanks to the brushless motor, the robot vacuum is more reliable, has a longer lifespan, makes less noise, and is more energy-efficient. Amy Schulman,, 29 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This old reliable is oil-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and allergy-tested. ELLE, 15 Mar. 2022 So the Ravens opted to take him out of the spotlight and turn to old reliable: Bynes. Childs Walker,, 21 Oct. 2021 Some are venerable right-wing reliables like National Review, The Washington Times, or Newsmax. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 4 Sep. 2019 Atleti's biggest transformation comes at the heart of their defence, as old reliables Filipe Luis, Juanfran and captain Diego Godin were released when their contracts expired., 19 Aug. 2019 The general public now, however, would see Mr. Trump’s generals as the reliables, the dependables, the sophisticates of the administration. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 10 Aug. 2017 North Korea's weekend launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile further demonstrated that the country is consistently trying to come up with new, better ways to keep its nuclear deterrent reliable and safe from attack. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 13 Feb. 2017 Also submitted for our hilarity are such reliables as the pot-smoking old lady and the elaborate cake that will never reach the finale intact. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, 2 Mar. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reliable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of reliable


1569, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1852, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for reliable

Time Traveler

The first known use of reliable was in 1569

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Dictionary Entries Near reliable

reliability coefficient



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Statistics for reliable

Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reliable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for reliable


re·​li·​able | \ ri-ˈlī-ə-bəl How to pronounce reliable (audio) \

Kids Definition of reliable

: fit to be trusted or relied on: dependable reliable information

Other Words from reliable

reliably \ -​blē \ adverb


re·​li·​able | \ ri-ˈlī-ə-bəl How to pronounce reliable (audio) \

Medical Definition of reliable

: giving the same result on successive trials a reliable psychological test

More from Merriam-Webster on reliable

Nglish: Translation of reliable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reliable for Arabic Speakers


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