that may be relied on or trusted; dependable in achievement, accuracy, honesty, etc.: reliable information.

Origin of reliable

First recorded in 1560–70; rely + -able
Related formsre·li·a·bil·i·ty, re·li·a·ble·ness, nounre·li·a·bly, adverbnon·re·li·a·ble, adjectivenon·re·li·a·ble·ness, nounnon·re·li·a·bly, adverbqua·si-re·li·a·ble, adjectivequa·si-re·li·a·bly, adverbul·tra·re·li·a·ble, adjectiveul·tra·re·li·a·ble·ly, adverb

Synonyms for reliable

trusty, authentic, consistent. Reliable, infallible, trustworthy apply to persons, objects, ideas, or information that can be depended upon with confident certainty. Reliable suggests consistent dependability of judgment, character, performance, or result: a reliable formula, judge, car, meteorologist. Infallible suggests the complete absence of error, breakdown, or poor performance: an infallible test, system, marksman. Trustworthy emphasizes the steady and honest dependability which encourages one's confidence, belief, or trust: trustworthy and accurate reports.

Antonyms for reliable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reliable

Contemporary Examples of reliable

Historical Examples of reliable

  • The bodily fatigue thus induced, especially when coupled with a reduced diet, is a reliable cure for undue sexual desires.

    The Soul of the Indian

    [AKA Ohiyesa], Charles A. Eastman

  • This is a perfectly simple bit of history that anyone may find for himself in any reliable history of medicine.

    The Popes and Science

    James J. Walsh

  • He sent for a reliable lawyer, who happened to be my college friend and chum, Will Porter.

    The Man from Jericho

    Edwin Carlile Litsey

  • Acting on this reliable information Washington at once dispatched a scouting party in pursuit.

    Colonel Washington

    Archer Butler Hulbert

  • I had always found him the most willing and reliable of officers, and he had won the respect and trust of every man who knew him.

    Three Years' War

    Christiaan Rudolf de Wet

British Dictionary definitions for reliable



able to be trusted; predictable or dependable
Derived Formsreliability or rare reliableness, nounreliably, adverb
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 reliable

1560s, raliabill, Scottish; see rely + -able. Not common before 1850; and sometimes execrated thereafter in Britain as an Americanism because it involves a use of -able different from its use in provable, etc., but defended (by OED, Century Dictionary, etc.) on grounds of use of the suffix in available, laughable, etc.. Related: Reliably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper