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[ri-lahy-uh-buh l] /rɪˈlaɪ ə bəl/
that may be relied on or trusted; dependable in achievement, accuracy, honesty, etc.:
reliable information.
Origin of reliable
First recorded in 1560-70; rely + -able
Related forms
reliability, reliableness, noun
reliably, adverb
nonreliable, adjective
nonreliableness, noun
nonreliably, adverb
quasi-reliable, adjective
quasi-reliably, adverb
ultrareliable, adjective
ultrareliablely, adverb
trusty, authentic, consistent. Reliable, infallible, trustworthy apply to persons, objects, ideas, or information that can be depended upon with confident certainty. Reliable suggests consistent dependability of judgment, character, performance, or result: a reliable formula, judge, car, meteorologist. Infallible suggests the complete absence of error, breakdown, or poor performance: an infallible test, system, marksman. Trustworthy emphasizes the steady and honest dependability which encourages one's confidence, belief, or trust: trustworthy and accurate reports.
undependable, questionable, deceitful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for reliably
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I am reliably informed that there never was a bank in Granby.

  • I assert that only that has been reliably seen which has been drawn.

    Criminal Psychology Hans Gross
  • The application, therefore, can be valid only if the constancy of general conditions may be reliably assumed.

    Criminal Psychology Hans Gross
  • Name and word recall more quickly, reliably, and energetically the objects they stand for than do the objects their symbols.

    Criminal Psychology Hans Gross
  • I advise you to visit Ireland, sor, which I'm reliably informed is the centhral jewel in Europe's crown of beauty.

    Aunt Jane's Nieces Abroad

    Edith Van Dyne
British Dictionary definitions for reliably


able to be trusted; predictable or dependable
Derived Forms
reliability, (rare) reliableness, noun
reliably, 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 reliably



1560s, raliabill, Scottish; see rely + -able. Not common before 1850; and sometimes execrated thereafter in Britain as an Americanism because it involves a use of -able different from its use in provable, etc., but defended (by OED, Century Dictionary, etc.) on grounds of use of the suffix in available, laughable, etc.. Related: Reliably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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