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apt

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

1350–1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin aptus fastened, fitted, fitting, appropriate, equivalent to ap- fasten, attach + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsapt·ly, adverbapt·ness, nouno·ver·apt, adjectiveo·ver·apt·ly, adverbo·ver·apt·ness, noun
Can be confusedapt likely (see usage note at likely)

Synonyms

Synonym study

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

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

relevantappropriatefelicitousfittingapropossuitablecorrecthappylikelyproneadeptintelligentablesmartapplicableappositebefittingfitgermanejust

Examples from the Web for apter

Historical Examples

  • You will be apter to abuse your inferiors than well to govern them.

    A Christian Directory (Volume 1 of 4)

    Richard Baxter

  • Passion, says I, is apter to discover our Thoughts than to teach us to counterfeit.

  • He is apter to say: "Do you carry your own, or will you try mine?"

  • The apter he is to smatter, the slower he is in making any advance in his pretences.

  • I may be apter than my appearance would give reason to think.

    The Bravo

    J. Fenimore Cooper


British Dictionary definitions for apter

apt

adjective
  1. suitable for the circumstance or purpose; appropriate
  2. (postpositive; foll by an infinitive) having a tendency (to behave as specified)
  3. having the ability to learn and understand easily; clever (esp in the phrase an apt pupil)
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Derived Formsaptly, adverbaptness, noun

Word Origin

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

apt

adj.

mid-14c., "inclined, disposed;" late 14c., "suited, fitted, adapted," from Old French ate (13c., Modern French apte), or directly from Latin aptus "fit, suited," adjectival use of past participle of *apere "to attach, join, tie to," from PIE root *ap- "to grasp, take, reach" (cf. Sanskrit apnoti "he reaches," Latin apisci "to reach after, attain," Hittite epmi "I seize"). Elliptical sense of "becoming, appropriate" is from 1560s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper