[rel-uh-vuh ns]
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  1. the condition of being relevant, or connected with the matter at hand: Some traditional institutions of the media lack relevance in this digital age.
Often rel·e·van·cy.


  1. bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand; pertinent: a relevant remark.

Origin of relevant

1550–60; < Medieval Latin relevant- (stem of relevāns), special use of Latin, present participle of relevāre to raise, lift up. See relieve, -ant
Related formsrel·e·vance, rel·e·van·cy, nounrel·e·vant·ly, adverbnon·rel·e·vant, adjectiveun·rel·e·vant, adjectiveun·rel·e·vant·ly, adverb

Synonyms for relevant

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Synonym study

See apt.

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

Examples from the Web for relevancy

Contemporary Examples of relevancy

Historical Examples of relevancy

British Dictionary definitions for relevancy


  1. having direct bearing on the matter in hand; pertinent
  2. linguistics another word for distinctive (def. 2)
Derived Formsrelevance or relevancy, nounrelevantly, adverb

Word Origin for relevant

C16: from Medieval Latin relevans, from Latin relevāre to lighten, from re- + levāre to raise, relieve
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 relevancy



"pertinent to the matter at hand," 1550s, from Middle French relevant "depending upon," originally "helpful," from Medieval Latin relevantem (nominative relevans), from stem of Latin relevare "to lessen, lighten" (see relieve). Not generally used until after 1800.



1733; see relevant + -ance. Related: Relevancy (1560s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper