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[apt] /æpt/
inclined; disposed; given; prone:
too apt to slander others.
Am I apt to find him at home?
unusually intelligent; able to learn quickly and easily:
an apt pupil.
suited to the purpose or occasion; appropriate:
an apt metaphor; a few apt remarks on world peace.
Archaic. prepared; ready; willing.
Origin of apt
1350-1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin aptus fastened, fitted, fitting, appropriate, equivalent to ap- fasten, attach + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
aptly, adverb
aptness, noun
overapt, adjective
overaptly, adverb
overaptness, noun
Can be confused
apt, likely (see usage note at likely)
1. liable. 3. clever, bright; adaptable; handy, adroit, dexterous, skillful. 4. fitting, meet, germane, felicitous.
Synonym Study
4. Apt, pertinent, relevant all refer to something suitable or fitting. Apt means to the point and particularly appropriate: an apt comment. Pertinent means pertaining to the matter in hand: a pertinent remark. Relevant means directly related to and important to the subject: a relevant opinion.
Usage note
Some usage guides insist that apt followed by an infinitive can or should be used to mean only “inclined, disposed”: He is apt to ignore matters he regards as unimportant. In fact, apt is standard in all varieties of speech and writing as a synonym for likely in contexts that suggest probability without any implication of a natural disposition toward: Hostilities are apt to break out if the confrontation is not soon resolved. She is apt to arrive almost any time now. See also liable, likely. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for aptest
Historical Examples
  • It is, possibly, the aptest contrast with the seriousness of our hero and heroine.

  • In any case oil has ever been regarded as the aptest symbol and vehicle of the holy and illuminating spirit.

  • If they use such a quality of diet and physic, as is aptest for the altering of those bodily distempers, which are the cause.

  • That state is most fortunate in its form of government which has the aptest instruments for the discovery of laws.

  • He had the most winning tongue, and the aptest spirit in the world to divine the natural inclinations of those he consorted with.

    Constance Sherwood Lady Georgiana Fullerton
  • The Political Justice found in Wordsworth the aptest soil for germination; it rooted and grew rapidly.

    More Pages from a Journal Mark Rutherford
  • It is with his own so beautiful talk, his ability to hear his own voice in the rounded paragraph, that he is aptest to charm one.

    Instigations Ezra Pound
  • Where he wished to learn he was the aptest pupil, and from the days of the tobacco-field he had longed for this smooth lustre.

    Lewis Rand

    Mary Johnston
  • His speech had relation to an Army Reform Bill, and it was a mosaic of the aptest and most wittily applied literary quotations.

    Recollections David Christie Murray
  • Metaphors are themselves the aptest and clearest mode of expressing much in little.

British Dictionary definitions for aptest


suitable for the circumstance or purpose; appropriate
(postpositive; foll by an infinitive) having a tendency (to behave as specified)
having the ability to learn and understand easily; clever (esp in the phrase an apt pupil)
Derived Forms
aptly, adverb
aptness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin aptus fitting, suitable, from apere to fasten
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for aptest



mid-14c., "inclined, disposed;" late 14c., "suited, fitted, adapted," from Old French ate (13c., Modern French apte), or directly from Latin aptus "fit, suited," adjectival use of past participle of *apere "to attach, join, tie to," from PIE root *ap- "to grasp, take, reach" (cf. Sanskrit apnoti "he reaches," Latin apisci "to reach after, attain," Hittite epmi "I seize"). Elliptical sense of "becoming, appropriate" is from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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