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apt

[apt]
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adjective
  1. inclined; disposed; given; prone: too apt to slander others.
  2. likely: Am I apt to find him at home?
  3. unusually intelligent; able to learn quickly and easily: an apt pupil.
  4. suited to the purpose or occasion; appropriate: an apt metaphor; a few apt remarks on world peace.
  5. Archaic. prepared; ready; willing.
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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 formsapt·ly, adverbapt·ness, nouno·ver·apt, adjectiveo·ver·apt·ly, adverbo·ver·apt·ness, noun
Can be confusedapt likely (see usage note at likely)

Synonyms

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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aptly

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But that way madness lay, as Shakespeare has so aptly said of another matter.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "The Hithertos," as Mr. Zangwill has aptly termed them, are helpless.

    The Truth About Woman

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • "That looks good to me," said Peter, delighted that the argot fell so aptly from his lips.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

  • If so, he had performed an unprecedented feat in recalling it so aptly.

    Peak and Prairie

    Anna Fuller

  • These tales may be aptly described the best books for boys and girls.


British Dictionary definitions for aptly

apt

adjective
  1. suitable for the circumstance or purpose; appropriate
  2. (postpositive; foll by an infinitive) having a tendency (to behave as specified)
  3. having the ability to learn and understand easily; clever (esp in the phrase an apt pupil)
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Derived Formsaptly, adverbaptness, 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

Word Origin and History for aptly

adv.

early 15c., "by natural means," from apt + -ly (2).

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apt

adj.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper