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[pur-tn-uh nt] /ˈpɜr tn ənt/
pertaining or relating directly and significantly to the matter at hand; relevant:
pertinent details.
Origin of pertinent
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin pertinent- (stem of pertinēns), present participle of pertinēre to pertain; see -ent
Related forms
pertinence, pertinency, noun
pertinently, adverb
nonpertinence, noun
nonpertinency, noun
nonpertinent, adjective
nonpertinently, adverb
unpertinent, adjective
unpertinently, adverb
appropriate, fitting, fit, suitable, applicable.
Synonym Study
See apt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pertinence
Historical Examples
  • This remark has no pertinence or meaning in Rosaline's mouth.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • Such directions have no pertinence, if addressed to human chattels.

    The Slavery Question John Lawrence
  • But there was pertinence in the young woman's question; where was he going, indeed?

    Idolatry Julian Hawthorne
  • So soon as such proposals had become law, it was asked with some pertinence: where were these huge wheels to come from?

    Carriages & Coaches Ralph Straus
  • Although he mentions a publisher's catalogue (which he has not seen), he seems doubtful about its pertinence to the task.

  • Its pertinence to a bibliography of bibliographies seems debatable to me.

  • The reader of his articles, political or social, cannot fail to be struck with the pertinence of his quotations and illustrations.

    Hugh Miller William Keith Leask
  • It is one of her oddities to have a fool for a companion; but this is one of them that has also most pertinence and wisdom.

  • His poem would then lose its pertinence to our lives and personal convictions; it would not lose its imaginative grandeur.

    Three Philosophical Poets George Santayana
  • The pertinence of this maxim to land purchase is proved by the reports of the Estates Commissioners.

British Dictionary definitions for pertinence


relating to the matter at hand; relevant
Derived Forms
pertinence, noun
pertinently, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin pertinēns, from pertinēre to pertain
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 pertinence

1650s, from French pertenance or formed in English from pertinent + -ence.



late 14c., from Anglo-French purtinaunt (late 13c.), Old French partenant (mid-13c.) and directly from Latin pertinentem (nominative pertinens) "pertaining," present participle of pertinere "to relate, concern" (see pertain). Related: Pertinently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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