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

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Other Words from reliable


reliableness noun
reliably \ ri-​ˈlī-​ə-​blē How to pronounce reliably (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The banks have set other rates for certain transactions, meaning that Lebanese people now must navigate five different exchange rates, including the black market one, which is considered the most reliable indicator of the currency’s true worth. Liz Sly, Washington Post, "Lebanon’s currency takes a new dive, and there is no end in sight," 26 June 2020 Only purchase fireworks from reliable sellers in the area. Shelby Stewart, Houston Chronicle, "What you should know about using fireworks in Harris County," 25 June 2020 Their last Senate majority, a product of wave elections in 2006 and 2008, was built on reliable seats in South Dakota, Arkansas, and Louisiana that have since been lost for a generation or more. Kevin Mahnken, The New Republic, "The Democrats’ Future Depends on D.C. Statehood," 25 June 2020 National Geographic is dedicated to providing current, reliable, and high-quality experiences. National Geographic, "The Genographic Project® Geno 2.0 Next Generation Helix Product Privacy Policy," 25 June 2020 Being able to heat your oven to the temperature called for in the recipe will mean that the cook times—and the results—are more predictable and more reliable. Mackenzie Fegan And Alex Delany, Bon Appétit, "An Oven Thermometer Will Reveal If Your Oven Is Lying to You," 25 June 2020 Far cheaper and similarly made for off-road adventures, this bike has 21 gears and special tektro hydraulic disc brakes that deliver reliable stopping power on or off-road in any weather condition. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "Everything you need to know before you start biking again," 25 June 2020 The conservative majority on the highest court seems more fragile and less reliable than previously thought, leading a few prominent Republicans to question the whole project. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "Judging Trump," 25 June 2020 The poll showed that the same voters who are fleeing the president — highly educated white Americans, many of them once-reliable Republicans — are providing an advantage to Democratic Senate candidates. Jonathan Martinand Matt Stevens,, "Trump’s Sagging Popularity Drags Down Republican Senate Candidates," 25 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some are venerable right-wing reliables like National Review, The Washington Times, or Newsmax. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "The Boundless Grift of Right-Wing Media Watchdogs," 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., "Atlético Madrid: 6 Reasons for Los Rojiblancos Fans to Be Optimistic This Season," 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, "Let Calm and Cool Trump ‘Fire and Fury’," 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, "What's Different About North Korea's Latest Missile Test," 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, "Review: At ‘Table 19,’ Random Wedding Guests Straining to Laugh," 2 Mar. 2017

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.

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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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Statistics for reliable

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reliable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for reliable


How to pronounce reliable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of reliable

: able to be trusted to do or provide what is needed : able to be relied on
: able to be believed : likely to be true or correct


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

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