- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- fit, worthy, or qualified, as for an office or function
- desirable and worthy of being chosen, esp as a spousean eligible young man
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
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