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[ak-sep-tuh-buh l] /ækˈsɛp tə bəl/
capable or worthy of being accepted.
pleasing to the receiver; satisfactory; agreeable; welcome.
meeting only minimum requirements; barely adequate:
an acceptable performance.
capable of being endured; tolerable; bearable:
acceptable levels of radiation.
Origin of acceptable
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin acceptābilis. See accept, -able
Related forms
acceptability, acceptableness, noun
acceptably, adverb
unacceptability, noun
unacceptable, adjective
unacceptableness, noun
unacceptably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for acceptable
  • Even then, only particular models that meet noise and emissions standards have been acceptable.
  • At this point, he said, it appears that the public is leery of setting a high level for acceptable radiation.
  • Determining a new federal standard for acceptable levels of arsenic in drinking water was no easy task.
  • High-quality scans of non-digital photographs are acceptable.
  • Light afternoon sun is also acceptable and preferable in the desert.
  • With a hosted service, bidders can simply submit their maximum acceptable bid, and let the company handle the rest.
  • It was considered an acceptable choice only if none of the jobs at research universities came through.
  • The remaining investment may produce less return, but the risk is more acceptable.
  • Few wear watches, and late arrivals are socially acceptable.
  • That's why it's important for patients to monitor blood sugar levels and make sure they're staying within an acceptable range.
British Dictionary definitions for acceptable


satisfactory; adequate
pleasing; welcome
Derived Forms
acceptability, acceptableness, noun
acceptably, 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
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Word Origin and History for acceptable

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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