Synonym Chooser

How is the word applicable different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of applicable are apposite, apropos, germane, material, pertinent, and relevant. While all these words mean "relating to or bearing upon the matter in hand," applicable suggests the fitness of bringing a general rule or principle to bear upon a particular case.

the rule is not applicable in this case

When is apposite a more appropriate choice than applicable?

The meanings of apposite and applicable largely overlap; however, apposite suggests a felicitous relevance.

add an apposite quotation to the definition

When would apropos be a good substitute for applicable?

While in some cases nearly identical to applicable, apropos suggests being both relevant and opportune.

the quip was apropos

In what contexts can germane take the place of applicable?

In some situations, the words germane and applicable are roughly equivalent. However, germane may additionally imply a fitness for or appropriateness to the situation or occasion.

a point not germane to the discussion

When might material be a better fit than applicable?

Although the words material and applicable have much in common, material implies so close a relationship that it cannot be dispensed with without serious alteration of the case.

facts material to the investigation

When can pertinent be used instead of applicable?

The synonyms pertinent and applicable are sometimes interchangeable, but pertinent stresses a clear and decisive relevance.

a pertinent observation

When is it sensible to use relevant instead of applicable?

The words relevant and applicable are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, relevant implies a traceable, significant, logical connection.

found material relevant to her case

Thesaurus Entries Near applicable

Cite this Entry

“Applicable.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/applicable. Accessed 28 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on applicable

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!