sus·​cep·​ti·​ble sə-ˈsep-tə-bəl How to pronounce susceptible (audio)
: capable of submitting to an action, process, or operation
a theory susceptible to proof
: open, subject, or unresistant to some stimulus, influence, or agency
susceptible to pneumonia
: impressionable, responsive
a susceptible mind
susceptibleness noun
susceptibly 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
Recent Examples on the Web Children are especially susceptible to bugs their immune systems have never encountered, and there are hundreds of them. Allysia Finley, WSJ, 26 Nov. 2023 According to the brand, its 14-karat gold can be worn everyday without tarnishing, and the 14-karat is actually more susceptible to scratching than the 18-karat gold. Andrea Navarro, Glamour, 24 Nov. 2023 There’s no reason to think that won’t continue against the struggling Chargers, especially susceptible to explosive plays. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2023 That research, a small human clinical trial funded by the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation and led by UCSF, intends to determine why some people are more susceptible to these headaches than others and if quercetin or acetaldehyde is the primary target for ameliorating these effects. Sara Moniuszko, CBS News, 20 Nov. 2023 Many comments on my post implied that following the two-hour rule over time somehow makes a person more susceptible to getting sick, as if lack of exposure to harmful bacteria weakened one’s resistance. Ellie Krieger, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2023 The flooding made the areas drenched on Tuesday night even more susceptible to flooding with Wednesday's rainfall. Kathryn Prociv, NBC News, 15 Nov. 2023 But here’s a paradox to all of this: women who dress in, well, less, are less susceptible to feeling the cold. Vogue, 9 Nov. 2023 Just make sure to immediately follow with an SPF 30 or higher when applying in the morning—vitamin C makes your skin more susceptible to sunburn. Anneke Knot,, 3 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'susceptible.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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 entry 1

First Known Use

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of susceptible was in 1605

Dictionary Entries Near susceptible

Cite this Entry

“Susceptible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


sus·​cep·​ti·​ble sə-ˈsep-tə-bəl How to pronounce susceptible (audio)
: being of such a nature as to permit some action or operation
a theory susceptible to proof
: having little resistance
persons susceptible to colds
: easily affected or impressed
susceptible to flattery
susceptibly adverb

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
sus·​cep·​ti·​ble sə-ˈsep-tə-bəl How to pronounce susceptible (audio)
: having little resistance to a specific infectious disease : capable of being infected
: predisposed to develop a noninfectious disease
susceptible to diabetes
: abnormally reactive to various drugs


2 of 2 noun
: one that is susceptible (as to a disease)
vaccinate all susceptibles in each region where outbreaks appearedA. J. Bollet

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