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re·​turn·​able ri-ˈtər-nə-bəl How to pronounce returnable (audio)
: legally required to be returned, delivered, or argued at a specified time or place
a writ returnable on the date indicated
: capable of returning or of being returned (as for reuse)
returnable beer bottles
: permitted to be returned
sale items are not returnable


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: something designed to be returned (as for recycling)
especially : a returnable beverage container

Examples of returnable in a Sentence

Adjective Sale items are not returnable.
Recent Examples on the Web
Pro tip: Most items are returnable within 30 days outside of holiday periods. Kurt Knutsson, Fox News, 28 Sep. 2023 Proponents hope more people will redeem the returnable cans and bottles if the deposit is increased from 5 to 10 cents, ultimately reducing litter and the amount of returnable containers being thrown into municipal recycling bins. Susan Haigh,, 3 June 2021 This is why monitoring the location and movement of returnable food and beverage supply chain assets—such as pallets, containers and crates—is important. Dan Shey, Forbes, 16 Mar. 2023 But opposing punters haven’t allowed a returnable punt in four games. Michael Casagrande |, al, 8 Nov. 2022 The industry has experimented with reusable, returnable glass bottles, but consumers did not return them, regardless of the incentives offered. Eric Asimov, New York Times, 4 May 2023 Some restaurants in New York City would have to offer customers the option of reusable, returnable containers for dine-in, takeout and delivery, rather than rely on the single-use packaging still ubiquitous in food service, under a new bill introduced in the City Council this month. Katie Deighton,, 19 Apr. 2023 Masks ship in 14 days and are returnable for 30 days. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 24 Aug. 2020 The subpoenas were returnable in October 2021. Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, 21 July 2022
There's talk of raising the state sales tax, increasing deposit fees on returnables, and legalizing marijuana. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, 11 July 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'returnable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1963, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of returnable was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near returnable

Cite this Entry

“Returnable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: that may or must be returned
returnable bottles
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