[ apt ]
/ æpt /
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inclined; disposed; given; prone: too apt to slander others.
likely: Am I apt to find him at home?
unusually intelligent; able to learn quickly and easily: an apt pupil.
suited to the purpose or occasion; appropriate: an apt metaphor; a few apt remarks on world peace.
Archaic. prepared; ready; willing.
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Origin of apt

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin aptus “fastened, fitted, fitting, appropriate,” equivalent to ap(ere) “fasten, attach” + -tus past participle suffix

synonym study for apt

4. Apt, pertinent, relevant all refer to something suitable or fitting. Apt means to the point and particularly appropriate: an apt comment. Pertinent means pertaining to the matter in hand: a pertinent remark. Relevant means directly related to and important to the subject: a relevant opinion.

usage note for apt

Some usage guides insist that apt followed by an infinitive can or should be used to mean only “inclined, disposed”: He is apt to ignore matters he regards as unimportant. In fact, apt is standard in all varieties of speech and writing as a synonym for likely in contexts that suggest probability without any implication of a natural disposition toward: Hostilities are apt to break out if the confrontation is not soon resolved. She is apt to arrive almost any time now. See also liable, likely.


apt·ly, adverbapt·ness, nouno·ver·apt, adjectiveo·ver·apt·ness, noun

Other definitions for apt (2 of 2)


abbreviation, plural apts.

Origin of apt.

First recorded in 1900–05
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does apt mean?

Apt means inclined, disposed, or prone to, as in When I’m hungry, I’m apt to be cranky too.

Apt can also mean likely, as in You’re more apt to pass the test if you study first.

Apt also describes something that is suitable or particularly fitting or relevant. An apt description, for example, is a description that is just right.

Finally, apt can also mean unusually intelligent or able to learn quickly and easily. You’ll most often hear it used in the phrase apt pupil or apt student.

Example: That is quite an apt observation coming from a novice.

Where does apt come from?

The first records of the term apt come from the 1300s. It comes from the Latin aptus, meaning “fitting or appropriate.”

Apt. (including the period) is an abbreviation for both apartment and appointment. While the period is often used, it isn’t always. Keep an eye out for apt being used as a shortened form of one of these words. The surrounding text will often give you a clue what the writer means.

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What are some other forms related to apt?

  • aptly (adverb)
  • aptness (noun)
  • overapt (adjective)
  • overaptness (noun)

What are some synonyms for apt?

What are some words that share a root or word element with apt

What are some words that often get used in discussing apt?

How is apt used in real life?

Try using apt!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for apt?

A. relevant
B. fitting
C. inappropriate
D. suitable

How to use apt in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for apt (1 of 2)

/ (æpt) /

suitable for the circumstance or purpose; appropriate
(postpositive; foll by an infinitive) having a tendency (to behave as specified)
having the ability to learn and understand easily; clever (esp in the phrase an apt pupil)

Derived forms of apt

aptly, adverbaptness, noun

Word Origin for apt

C14: from Latin aptus fitting, suitable, from apere to fasten

British Dictionary definitions for apt (2 of 2)


abbreviation for plural apts.
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