• 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


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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 pertinent

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He was quick at repartee, and his observations were gentle but pertinent.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • We quote for the sake of one line chiefly, but the whole stanza is pertinent.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • His reply was curt and pertinent: "It took long enough, young man!"

  • Gertrude's earnestness was too real to be shaken by this pertinent inquiry.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Listen, on what a pertinent thought did I come this morning.

    Under the Country Sky

    Grace S. Richmond

British Dictionary definitions for pertinent


  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 pertinent


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