Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[rel-uh-vuh nt] /ˈrɛl ə vənt/
bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand; pertinent:
a relevant remark.
Origin of relevant
1550-60; < Medieval Latin relevant- (stem of relevāns), special use of Latin, present participle of relevāre to raise, lift up. See relieve, -ant
Related forms
relevance, relevancy, noun
relevantly, adverb
nonrelevant, adjective
unrelevant, adjective
unrelevantly, adverb
applicable, germane, apposite, appropriate, suitable, fitting.
Synonym Study
See apt.
Pronunciation note
See irrelevant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for relevant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Illustrations have been moved closer to their relevant paragraphs.

  • Yet a spirited and relevant discussion may be conducted in a class of a hundred or so.

    College Teaching Paul Klapper
  • For readability, the footnotes have been moved to the end of the relevant chapter.

    The Classification of Patents United States Patent Office
  • This I do, because it does not seem to me relevant to the matter in hand.

    The Arena Various
  • This puts the argument upon a plane where discussion is relevant.

    A Preface to Politics

    Walter Lippmann
British Dictionary definitions for relevant


having direct bearing on the matter in hand; pertinent
(linguistics) another word for distinctive (sense 2)
Derived Forms
relevance, relevancy, noun
relevantly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin relevans, from Latin relevāre to lighten, from re- + levāre to raise, relieve
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for relevant

"pertinent to the matter at hand," 1550s, from Middle French relevant "depending upon," originally "helpful," from Medieval Latin relevantem (nominative relevans), from stem of Latin relevare "to lessen, lighten" (see relieve). Not generally used until after 1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for relevant

Word Value for relevant

Scrabble Words With Friends