• synonyms


[pur-tn-uh nt]
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  1. pertaining or relating directly and significantly to the matter at hand; relevant: pertinent details.
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Origin of pertinent

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin pertinent- (stem of pertinēns), present participle of pertinēre to pertain; see -ent
Related formsper·ti·nence, per·ti·nen·cy, nounper·ti·nent·ly, adverbnon·per·ti·nence, nounnon·per·ti·nen·cy, nounnon·per·ti·nent, adjectivenon·per·ti·nent·ly, adverbun·per·ti·nent, adjectiveun·per·ti·nent·ly, adverb


See more synonyms for pertinent on Thesaurus.com
appropriate, fitting, fit, suitable, applicable.

Synonym study

See apt.


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

Examples from the Web for pertinence

Historical Examples

  • This remark has no pertinence or meaning in Rosaline's mouth.

    The Man Shakespeare

    Frank Harris

  • Such directions have no pertinence, if addressed to human chattels.

  • But there was pertinence in the young woman's question; where was he going, indeed?


    Julian Hawthorne

  • So soon as such proposals had become law, it was asked with some pertinence: where were these huge wheels to come from?

  • Although he mentions a publisher's catalogue (which he has not seen), he seems doubtful about its pertinence to the task.

British Dictionary definitions for pertinence


  1. relating to the matter at hand; relevant
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Derived Formspertinence, nounpertinently, adverb

Word Origin

C14: from Latin pertinēns, from pertinēre to pertain
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 pertinence


1650s, from French pertenance or formed in English from pertinent + -ence.

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late 14c., from Anglo-French purtinaunt (late 13c.), Old French partenant (mid-13c.) and directly from Latin pertinentem (nominative pertinens) "pertaining," present participle of pertinere "to relate, concern" (see pertain). Related: Pertinently.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper