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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 pertinent

germane, applicable, related, admissible, appropriate, opportune, apposite, apropos, apt, connected, fit, fitting, kosher, material, pat, pertaining, proper, legit

Examples from the Web for pertinent

Contemporary Examples of pertinent

Historical Examples of pertinent

  • 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 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 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