[ el-i-juh-buhl ]
See synonyms for: eligibleeligibility on Thesaurus.com

  1. fit or proper to be chosen; worthy of choice; desirable: to marry an eligible bachelor.

  2. meeting the stipulated requirements, as to participate, compete, or work; qualified.

  1. legally qualified to be elected or appointed to office: eligible for the presidency.

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

Origin of eligible

First recorded in 1555–65; from Middle French or directly from Late Latin ēligibilis, equivalent to Latin ē- “out of, from” + lig- (combining form of leg-, stem of legere “to choose, select”) + -bilis “capable of, susceptible of, tending to”; see e-1, -ible

Other words for eligible

Opposites for eligible

Other words from eligible

  • el·i·gi·bil·i·ty, el·i·gi·ble·ness, noun
  • el·i·gi·bly, adverb
  • non·el·i·gi·ble, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for eligible


/ (ˈɛlɪdʒəbəl) /

  1. fit, worthy, or qualified, as for an office or function

  2. desirable and worthy of being chosen, esp as a spouse: an eligible young man

Origin of eligible

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

Derived forms of eligible

  • eligibility, noun
  • eligibly, adverb

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