adjective sus·cep·ti·ble \ sə-ˈsep-tə-bəl \
|Updated on: 15 Aug 2018

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




play \sə-ˈsep-tə-blē\ adverb

Examples of susceptible in a Sentence

  1. 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 Spectator31 May 2009
  2. 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 MacFarlaneNew York Times Book Review13 Jan. 2008
  3. 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 BerlinThe Hedgehog and the Fox(1953) 1978
  4. The virus can infect susceptible individuals.

  5. some people are more susceptible to depression during the winter because of reduced exposure to sunlight

Recent Examples of susceptible from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

Synonym Discussion of 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

SUSCEPTIBLE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of susceptible for English Language Learners

  • : easily affected, influenced, or harmed by something

  • : capable of being affected by a specified action or process

SUSCEPTIBLE Defined for Kids


adjective sus·cep·ti·ble \ sə-ˈsep-tə-bəl \

Definition of susceptible for Students

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.

Medical Dictionary



adjective sus·cep·ti·ble \ sə-ˈsep-tə-bəl \

medical Definition of susceptible

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

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

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having an air of easy unconcern

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