[ ri-leyt-uh-buhl ]
/ rɪˈleɪt ə bəl /
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able to be connected or linked:The power of the drill is directly relatable to the amount of voltage stored in its battery.
easy to form a social or emotional connection with; appealing or sympathetic:She plays the sort of supremely relatable everywoman that moviegoers love and learn from.
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Origin of relatable


re·lat·a·bil·i·ty [ri-ley-tuh-bil-i-tee] /rɪˌleɪ təˈbɪl ɪ ti/ noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does relatable mean?

If something is relatable, it means you can relate to it—you can identify with it because you’ve experienced it or something similar.

Relatable is the adjective form of relate, one meaning of which is to establish a social or sympathetic relationship with a person or thing. Saying something is relatable is the same as saying that you can relate to it.

Relatable can also mean able to be expressed or described, as in Complex concepts like this are not easily relatable in such a short amount of time.

It can also mean able to be connected to something else, as in The two events are not so easily relatable—it’s not a simple case of cause and effect. 

Example: The part in the movie when she hit the snooze button 10 times was so relatable—I do that all the time!

Where does relatable come from?

The first record of relatable comes from the 1620s. The word relate is first recorded in the 1490s and derives from the Latin relatus, meaning “brought back.” It comes from the Latin verb referre, which means “to carry back” and is the basis of the word refer.

In everyday conversation, the word relatable has become a popular way to describe a person or thing as one you identify with—one that gives you a feeling of familiarity. People who are relatable are people who seem a lot like you, especially in relation to the things they do or have experienced. You’re most likely to become friends with someone who’s relatable because it means you have a lot in common.

Certain aspects of pop culture, like scenes from TV or movies, are called relatable when they remind you of real life. Fictional characters are called relatable when they do the things you would do, say the things you would say, and feel the things you feel. Celebrities live very different lifestyles than the average person, but they can be described as relatable when they seem like regular, down-to-earth people.

On social media, relatable gets used (often as a #relatable) to sympathize with posts about things that people have done or are going through, especially embarrassing situations or awkward moments. Because we’ve all been there, and we can relate.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of relatable?

  • relate (verb)
  • relatability (noun)

What are some words that share a root or word element with relatable

What are some words that often get used in discussing relatable?

How is relatable used in real life?

Relatable is commonly used in discussions and comments about how an experience is very familiar to one’s own.



Try using relatable!

Is the word relatable used correctly in the following sentence?

I just saw the most relatable post about dating—it’s like I could have written it myself!

How to use relatable in a sentence