[ak-sep-tuh-buh l]


capable or worthy of being accepted.
pleasing to the receiver; satisfactory; agreeable; welcome.
meeting only minimum requirements; barely adequate: an acceptable performance.
capable of being endured; tolerable; bearable: acceptable levels of radiation.

Origin of acceptable

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Late Latin word acceptābilis. See accept, -able
Related formsac·cept·a·bil·i·ty, ac·cept·a·ble·ness, nounac·cept·a·bly, adverbun·ac·cept·a·bil·i·ty, nounun·ac·cept·a·ble, adjectiveun·ac·cept·a·ble·ness, nounun·ac·cept·a·bly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for acceptable

Contemporary Examples of acceptable

Historical Examples of acceptable

  • He took everything that came to him as in itself right and acceptable.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • The ladies are not the only greenbacks that are accepted at sight; and acceptable to it.

  • The kind of renown most accessible and acceptable to mediocrity.

  • Tell me, Mr Dorrit, what surprise would be the most unlooked for and the most acceptable to you.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • They were acceptable to me, because they echoed my own mind, and confirmed my own knowledge.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for acceptable



satisfactory; adequate
pleasing; welcome
Derived Formsacceptability or acceptableness, nounacceptably, 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

Word Origin and History for acceptable

late 14c., from Old French acceptable, from Latin acceptabilis "worthy of acceptance," from acceptare (see accept). Related: Acceptably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper