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Synonym Chooser

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

Some common synonyms of material are applicable, apposite, apropos, germane, pertinent, and relevant. While all these words mean "relating to or bearing upon the matter in hand," material implies so close a relationship that it cannot be dispensed with without serious alteration of the case.

facts material to the investigation

When is it sensible to use applicable instead of material?

The synonyms applicable and material are sometimes interchangeable, but 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 might apposite be a better fit than material?

In some situations, the words apposite and material are roughly equivalent. However, apposite suggests a felicitous relevance.

add an apposite quotation to the definition

When is apropos a more appropriate choice than material?

Although the words apropos and material have much in common, apropos suggests being both relevant and opportune.

the quip was apropos

When could germane be used to replace material?

While in some cases nearly identical to material, germane may additionally imply a fitness for or appropriateness to the situation or occasion.

a point not germane to the discussion

When can pertinent be used instead of material?

The words pertinent and material can be used in similar contexts, but pertinent stresses a clear and decisive relevance.

a pertinent observation

Where would relevant be a reasonable alternative to material?

The meanings of relevant and material largely overlap; however, relevant implies a traceable, significant, logical connection.

found material relevant to her case

Thesaurus Entries Near material

Cite this Entry

“Material.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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