pertaining or relating directly and significantly to the matter at hand; relevant: pertinent details.

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

Synonyms for pertinent

Synonym study

See apt.

Antonyms for pertinent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pertinence

Historical Examples of pertinence

  • There is integrity to design, consistence and pertinence, and there are aesthetic qualities.

  • I shall attempt only a brief mention of those excerpts, to show their pertinence.

  • The reader of his articles, political or social, cannot fail to be struck with the pertinence of his quotations and illustrations.

    Hugh Miller

    William Keith Leask

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


    Julian Hawthorne

  • The last part is a psychological blunder, has no pertinence to the question, and is not what Hamilton was groping for.

British Dictionary definitions for pertinence



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

Word Origin for pertinent

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.



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper