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[nav-i-guh-buh l] /ˈnæv ɪ gə bəl/
deep and wide enough to provide passage to ships:
a navigable channel.
capable of being steered or guided, as a ship, aircraft, or missile.
Origin of navigable
1520-30; < Latin nāvigābilis, equivalent to nāvigā(re) to sail (see navigate) + -bilis -ble
Related forms
navigability, navigableness, noun
navigably, adverb
nonnavigability, noun
nonnavigable, adjective
nonnavigableness, noun
nonnavigably, adverb
unnavigability, noun
unnavigable, adjective
unnavigableness, noun
unnavigably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for navigable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He crawled past the bend to make sure that the stream was navigable.

  • All three are goodly branches, and all navigable for great ships.

    The Discovery of Guiana Sir Walter Raleigh
  • There are numerous rivers, few of which are navigable by sea-going ships.

    The Philippine Islands John Foreman
  • This is the great river of the district, and is navigable for about three miles.

    The Philippine Islands John Foreman
  • The Saginaw empties into Lake Huron and is navigable for sixty miles.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • At present, they are navigable about half their length for small steamboats and bateaux.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • The river is very broad and is navigable for hundreds of miles.

  • During the summer of 1858 and all during the summer of 1859 the river was navigable.

  • It is navigable for about 150 miles for launches and other small craft.

    Mexico Charles Reginald Enock
British Dictionary definitions for navigable


wide, deep, or safe enough to be sailed on or through: a navigable channel
capable of being steered or controlled: a navigable raft
Derived Forms
navigability, navigableness, noun
navigably, adverb
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 navigable

mid-15c., from Old French navigable (14c.) or directly from Latin navigabilis, from navigat-, past participle stem of navigare (see navigation). Related: Navigability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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