viable

adjective
vi·​a·​ble | \ ˈvī-ə-bəl How to pronounce viable (audio) \

Essential Meaning of viable

1 : capable of being done or used : workable a viable solution to the problem He could not suggest a viable alternative/option.
2 : capable of succeeding Is she a viable candidate? a viable method
3 technical : capable of living or of developing into a living thing a viable human fetus viable seeds/eggs

Full Definition of viable

1a : capable of living a viable skin graft viable offspring
b of a fetus : having attained such form and development of organs as to be normally capable of surviving outside the uterus a 26-week old viable fetus
c : capable of growing or developing viable seeds viable eggs
2a : capable of working, functioning, or developing adequately viable alternatives
b : capable of existence and development as an independent unit The colony is now a viable state.
c(1) : having a reasonable chance of succeeding a viable candidate
(2) : financially sustainable a viable enterprise

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from viable

viably \ ˈvī-​ə-​blē How to pronounce viable (audio) \ adverb

Examples of viable in a Sentence

The departure point for a viable peace deal—either with Syria or the Palestinians—must not be based purely on what the political traffic in Israel will bear, but on the requirements of all sides. — Aaron David Miller, Newsweek, 12 Jan. 2009 As gene therapy begins to enjoy some preliminary successes, scientists at the World Anti-Doping Agency, which oversees drug testing for the Olympics, have started to worry that dopers might now see abuse of gene therapy in sport as a viable option, though the practice was banned by WADA in 2003. — Patrick Barry, Science News, 2 Aug. 2008 Under today's forest management practices, few trees die natural deaths and fewer still attain the girth of the old-growth trees that supported the ivory-bill. The sad fact is that there is really no place in the United States today where a viable population of ivory-bills could persist even if captive reared birds were on hand to stock a release program. — John Terborgh, New York Review of Books, 26 Apr. 2007 To ponder [John] Updike's work in now old-fashioned sociopolitical terms, it might be said that he examines our struggle to maintain a viable center for our inner life while enduring the most revolutionary force in history—American capitalism. — Robert Stone, New York Times Book Review, 18 June 2006 At stake is the survival of our civilization and the habitability of the Earth. Or, as one eminent scientist put it, the pending question is whether the combination of an opposable thumb and a neocortex is a viable combination on this planet. — Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, 2006 When a patient agrees to forego a bed at the Portland VA—so far 75% of viable candidates have agreed to do so—a small "strike force" swings into action. The patient is sent home, typically with various medicines, oxygen tanks, and sometimes, a mobile X-ray machine. A nurse visits every day to perform tests, provide IV infusions and monitor medications. As a backup, a physician is on 24-hour standby for emergencies. — Gautam Naik, Wall Street Journal, 19 Apr. 2006 Another truth is that corks expire with age. A few wineries recognize that fact and recork their library wines every 25 years or so, but that's not a viable process for most collectors. — James Laube, Wine Spectator, 31 Mar. 2005 a viable solution to the problem He could not suggest a viable alternative. Is she a viable candidate?
See More
Recent Examples on the Web As a result, UTEP is stuck in a dying C-USA that will have to pull multiple schools up from the FCS level just to remain viable. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 25 Oct. 2021 Currently, women can't ascend to the throne, so royal women marry commoners due to a lack of viable imperial suitors. Anthony Trotter, ABC News, 24 Oct. 2021 Al Jazeera failed to build a viable audience and shut down in 2016. Rodney Ho, ajc, 23 Oct. 2021 Thursday’s announcement was the culmination of a lot of work to position UAB as a viable candidate should the realignment carousel crank up again. John Talty | Jtalty@al.com, al, 22 Oct. 2021 Who to start: Consistent volume and a potentially windy evening make Melvin Gordon (DEN) and Javonte Williams (DEN) viable RB2/flex plays. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Oct. 2021 More than 1,000 donors stepped up, many with modest contributions that proved to Godar that the Varsity had a viable constituency. Washington Post, 21 Oct. 2021 In a business dominated by streaming and singles, where do albums stand as a viable entity? Gail Mitchell, Billboard, 21 Oct. 2021 In exchange, the city, Cuyahoga County, the state and the team, which soon will become the Cleveland Guardians, would finance improvements to keep the stadium viable for years. Robert Higgs, cleveland, 4 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'viable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of viable

circa 1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for viable

French, from Middle French, from vie life, from Latin vita — more at vital

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About viable

Time Traveler for viable

Time Traveler

The first known use of viable was circa 1832

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near viable

viability

viable

via crucis

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for viable

Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Viable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/viable. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for viable

viable

adjective
vi·​a·​ble | \ ˈvī-ə-bəl How to pronounce viable (audio) \

Kids Definition of viable

1 : capable of living or growing viable seeds
2 : possible to use or apply a viable plan

viable

adjective
vi·​a·​ble | \ ˈvī-ə-bəl How to pronounce viable (audio) \

Medical Definition of viable

1 : capable of living the skin graft was viable viable cancer cells especially : having attained such form and development as to be normally capable of surviving outside the uterus a 26-week old viable fetus
2 : capable of growing or developing viable eggs

More from Merriam-Webster on viable

Nglish: Translation of viable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of viable for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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