sus·cep·ti·ble | \sə-ˈsep-tə-bəl \

Definition of susceptible 

1 : capable of submitting to an action, process, or operation a theory susceptible to proof

2 : open, subject, or unresistant to some stimulus, influence, or agency susceptible to pneumonia

3 : impressionable, responsive a susceptible mind

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Other Words from susceptible

susceptibleness noun
susceptibly \sə-ˈsep-tə-blē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for susceptible

liable, open, exposed, subject, prone, susceptible, sensitive mean being by nature or through circumstances likely to experience something adverse. liable implies a possibility or probability of incurring something because of position, nature, or particular situation. liable to get lost open stresses a lack of barriers preventing incurrence. a claim open to question exposed suggests lack of protection or powers of resistance against something actually present or threatening. exposed to infection subject implies an openness for any reason to something that must be suffered or undergone. all reports are subject to review prone stresses natural tendency or propensity to incur something. prone to delay susceptible implies conditions existing in one's nature or individual constitution that make incurrence probable. very susceptible to flattery sensitive implies a readiness to respond to or be influenced by forces or stimuli. unduly sensitive to criticism

Examples of susceptible in a Sentence

Researchers at the University of South Carolina say that a chemical found abundantly in red wine, apples and onions helps protect against influenza, especially after a rigorous respiratory workout, when the body is more susceptible to infection. — Kim Marcus et al., Wine Spectator, 31 May 2009 Women were especially susceptible to his … charm, and he maintained dozens of relationships simultaneously. When he was finally being tried for his crimes, 20 women sat together in the courthouse's public galleries, weeping: mistresses, lovers and admirers, all convinced of Unterweger's innocence. — Robert MacFarlane, New York Times Book Review, 13 Jan. 2008 He grew up during the heyday of the Hegelian philosophy, which sought to explain all things in terms of historical development, but conceived this process as being ultimately not susceptible to the methods of empirical investigation. — Isaiah Berlin, The Hedgehog and the Fox, (1953) 1978 The virus can infect susceptible individuals. some people are more susceptible to depression during the winter because of reduced exposure to sunlight
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Recent Examples on the Web

His unofficial status as an Oregon commit left him susceptible to flipping, and Oregon State pounced. Andrew Nemec,, "Teagan Quitoriano, Sprague 3-star TE/DE, flips from Oregon Ducks to Oregon State Beavers, signs letter of intent," 19 Apr. 2018 These days, kids with their smartphones and tablets have unlimited access to the internet, which leaves them susceptible to predators and other concerns. John Benson,, "Fairview Park's Gilles-Sweet Elementary School to host internet safety program," 6 Apr. 2018 Investors are concerned that the rapid growth of tech giants in recent years has led to outsize influence, and that the sector’s sharp reversal leaves them susceptible to greater downside. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "The 10-Point.," 29 Mar. 2018 Experts say Orlando’s tourist and transient population makes the region susceptible to traffickers, who often prey on poor and drug-addicted women and children. Stephen Hudak,, "Orange County's crisis shelter for human-trafficking victims is full — and that may be a good thing," 12 July 2018 Are particular body locations more susceptible to tumor development? Jessica Alice Farrell, Smithsonian, "Should We Share Human Cancer Treatments With Tumorous Turtles?," 11 July 2018 One study, published in the U.S. journal Environmental Health Perspectives, showed that even small amounts of the chemicals made the algae in coral susceptible to viral infection. Peter Fimrite,, "Hawaii to ban sunscreen that damages coral," 7 July 2018 At that point, the coral loses a key source of food and becomes more susceptible to deadly diseases. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Hawaii is banning sunscreens that kill coral reefs," 2 July 2018 Madison believed that a direct democracy would inevitably result in toxic polarization and leave citizens susceptible to authoritarian rule. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "James Madison Would Be Horrified by a Tweeting President," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'susceptible.' 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 susceptible

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for susceptible

Late Latin susceptibilis, from Latin susceptus, past participle of suscipere to take up, admit, from sub-, sus- up + capere to take — more at sub-, heave

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Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for susceptible

The first known use of susceptible was in 1605

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More Definitions for susceptible



English Language Learners Definition of susceptible

: easily affected, influenced, or harmed by something

: capable of being affected by a specified action or process


sus·cep·ti·ble | \sə-ˈsep-tə-bəl \

Kids Definition of susceptible

1 : of such a nature as to permit The words are susceptible of being misunderstood.

2 : having little resistance (as to infection or damage) I am susceptible to colds.

3 : easily affected or impressed by You're so susceptible to flattery.


sus·cep·ti·ble | \sə-ˈsep-tə-bəl \

Medical Definition of susceptible 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having little resistance to a specific infectious disease : capable of being infected

2 : predisposed to develop a noninfectious disease susceptible to diabetes

3 : abnormally reactive to various drugs



Medical Definition of susceptible (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is susceptible (as to a disease) vaccinate all susceptibles in each region where outbreaks appeared— A. J. Bollet

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Comments on susceptible

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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