[ el-i-juh-buh l ]
/ ˈɛl ɪ dʒə bəl /


fit or proper to be chosen; worthy of choice; desirable: to marry an eligible bachelor.
meeting the stipulated requirements, as to participate, compete, or work; qualified.
legally qualified to be elected or appointed to office: eligible for the presidency.


a person or thing that is eligible: Among the eligibles, only a few are running for office.

Origin of eligible

1555–65; (< Middle French) < Late Latin ēligibilis, equivalent to Latin ē- e-1 + ligi- select + -bilis; see -ible
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for eligible

British Dictionary definitions for eligible


/ (ˈɛlɪdʒəbəl) /


fit, worthy, or qualified, as for an office or function
desirable and worthy of being chosen, esp as a spousean eligible young man
Derived Formseligibility, nouneligibly, adverb

Word Origin for eligible

C15: from Late Latin ēligibilis able to be chosen, from ēligere to elect
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 eligible



early 15c., "fit or proper to be chosen," from Middle French eligible "fit to be chosen" (14c.), from Late Latin eligibilis "that may be chosen," from Latin eligere "choose" (see election). Related: Eligibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper