• synonyms


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

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


Synonym study

See apt.

Pronunciation note

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

British Dictionary definitions for unrelevant


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

Word Origin

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 unrelevant



"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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper