vi·​a·​bil·​i·​ty ˌvī-ə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce viability (audio)
: the quality or state of being viable: such as
: the ability to live, grow, and develop
the viability of seeds under dry conditions
: the capability of a fetus to survive outside the uterus
fetal viability
: the ability to function adequately
The viability of lymphocytes serially harvested from stored bank blood …Biological Abstracts
: the ability to succeed or be sustained
This year's market turmoil had called into question the viability of the investment-banking business model …Wall Street Journal
Getting an informed start now may be essential to future growth and economic viability of the U.S. wine industry.Gordon W Murchie

Examples of viability in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Commercial real estate is suffering, municipal taxes are declining, and the viability of businesses that depend on intense footfall–from barbers to baristas–is being undermined. Ian Goldin, Fortune, 20 Sep. 2023 Getting the first one under his belt should quell outside noise about Napier’s long-term viability with the Gators (2-1, 1-0 Southeastern Conference). Mark Heim |, al, 16 Sep. 2023 The long-term viability of the linear Freeform channel remains unclear because Charter is the nation’s second-largest pay-TV provider and other distributors could follow Charter’s lead. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, 11 Sep. 2023 Abortions could be prohibited after fetal viability, typically about 22 to 24 weeks gestation, unless a physician determines one is required to save the pregnant patient's life or health. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 24 Aug. 2023 However, Charter has sought to frame the disagreement as part of a broader debate about the financial viability of cable in the streaming era. Bypaolo Confino, Fortune, 7 Sep. 2023 The Big Ten has not made any decisions regarding the viability of Oregon playing Oregon State or for the Apple Cup to continue being played at the end of the regular season, but the conference has not ruled it out either. oregonlive, 25 Aug. 2023 But doubts have been raised about the town’s long-term viability. Eli Tan, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Aug. 2023 Each organization will be given $100,000 in unrestricted funds to help drive their mission of creative viability. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 21 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'viability.' 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

1837, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of viability was in 1837

Dictionary Entries Near viability

Cite this Entry

“Viability.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


vi·​a·​bil·​i·​ty ˌvī-ə-ˈbil-ət-ē How to pronounce viability (audio)
plural viabilities
: the quality or state of being viable : the ability to live, grow, and develop
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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