[ak-sep-tuh-buh l]
See more synonyms for acceptable on
  1. capable or worthy of being accepted.
  2. pleasing to the receiver; satisfactory; agreeable; welcome.
  3. meeting only minimum requirements; barely adequate: an acceptable performance.
  4. capable of being endured; tolerable; bearable: acceptable levels of radiation.

Origin of acceptable

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Late Latin word acceptābilis. See accept, -able
Related formsac·cept·a·bil·i·ty, ac·cept·a·ble·ness, nounac·cept·a·bly, adverbun·ac·cept·a·bil·i·ty, nounun·ac·cept·a·ble, adjectiveun·ac·cept·a·ble·ness, nounun·ac·cept·a·bly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unacceptable

Contemporary Examples of unacceptable

Historical Examples of unacceptable

  • One crime more will not make you unacceptable to her you love.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

  • A short sketch of his life will not, perhaps, be unacceptable to the reader.

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • But before he had finished he felt that his jest was unacceptable and had not come off.

    War and Peace

    Leo Tolstoy

  • Some few hints as to collecting larvae may not be unacceptable.

    Practical Taxidermy

    Montagu Browne

  • But radical finalism is quite as unacceptable, and for the same reason.

    Creative Evolution

    Henri Bergson

British Dictionary definitions for unacceptable


  1. not satisfactory; inadequatethe standard was wholly unacceptable
  2. intolerablehitting children is unacceptable


  1. satisfactory; adequate
  2. pleasing; welcome
  3. tolerable
Derived Formsacceptability or acceptableness, nounacceptably, 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 unacceptable

late 15c., from un- (1) "not" + acceptable. Related: Unacceptably.



late 14c., from Old French acceptable, from Latin acceptabilis "worthy of acceptance," from acceptare (see accept). Related: Acceptably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper