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

calculable, dependable, good, responsible, safe, secure, solid, steady, sure, tried, tried-and-true, true, trustable, trustworthy, trusty

Antonyms: Adjective

dodgy [chiefly British], uncertain, undependable, unreliable, unsafe, untrustworthy

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Examples of reliable in a Sentence


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

In a string of tweets posted Thursday night, Trump said the currencies are not as dependable or reliable as the U.S. dollar. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "Trump on Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies: 'I am not a fan'," 12 July 2019 Defensively, Houston has found success stashing Harden against post players, in part because Paul remained a diligent and reliable perimeter defender. Ben Golliver,, "Rockets reunite Harden and Westbrook, trading old problems for new ones," 12 July 2019 Watford have a solid and reliable defender in Jose Holebas, however, the defender will be entering the twilight years of his career, meaning that Gracia needs to enter the transfer market for a suitable replacement for their left-back., "5 Positions Watford Must Strengthen to Qualify for the Europa League Next Season," 2 July 2019 SDCWA Board Chairman Jim Madaffer said inflation and other factors are pushing costs higher as the SDCWA maintains billions of dollars in assets and strives to ensure safe and reliable water supplies. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Water board considers water, sewer rate hikes," 2 July 2019 One was to hit 1% support in three state or national polls approved by the DNC as among the most trusted and reliable. Anchorage Daily News, "How to squeeze all those Democrats on the debate stage," 26 June 2019 In most advanced countries payments are quick, secure and reliable thanks to widespread use of credit and debit cards. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Facebook’s Libra Could Give Dollar, Banks Some Welcome Competition," 26 June 2019 Imagine two network nodes, Alice and Bob, each made of some isolated bit of matter (the most obvious and reliable substrate for encoding and storing quantum states). Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, "The Quantum Internet Is Emerging, One Experiment at a Time," 19 June 2019 At under $50, a good recovery strap is a cheap yet reliable piece of insurance against getting stuck. Chris O'neill, Outside Online, "The 4 Ways to Get Your Vehicle Unstuck," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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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Statistics for reliable

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reliable

The first known use of reliable was in 1569

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More Definitions for reliable



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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More from Merriam-Webster on reliable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reliable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reliable

Spanish Central: Translation of reliable

Nglish: Translation of reliable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reliable for Arabic Speakers

Comments on reliable

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


to complain fretfully

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