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apt

[apt]
See more synonyms for apt on Thesaurus.com
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

See more synonyms for apt on Thesaurus.com
1. liable. 3. clever, bright; adaptable; handy, adroit, dexterous, skillful. 4. fitting, meet, germane, felicitous.

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

Examples from the Web for aptness

Historical Examples

  • As we ran towards the main hatch I recognized the aptness of the comparison.

    Romance

    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • I marvelled at its aptness, and also that it should have come to me so pat.

    The Arrow of Gold

    Joseph Conrad

  • This prophecy is wonderful for the aptness of each single word.

  • Even puns please, from the aptness and pleasantry of their conceits.

    A Lecture On Heads

    Geo. Alex. Stevens

  • There is also an aptness in this selection, which does credit to the 'Patriarch.'


British Dictionary definitions for aptness

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 aptness

n.

1530s, from apt + -ness.

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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