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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

Synonyms for pertinent

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Synonym study

See apt.

Antonyms for pertinent

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

Related Words for pertinence

relevance, importance, purpose, applicability, congruity

Examples from the Web for pertinence

Historical Examples of pertinence

  • 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 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.

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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