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[ap-li-kuh-buh l, uh-plik-uh-] /ˈæp lɪ kə bəl, əˈplɪk ə-/
applying or capable of being applied; relevant; suitable; appropriate:
an applicable rule; a solution that is applicable to the problem.
Origin of applicable
late Middle English
1400-50; < Latin applic(āre) to apply + -able, or < Middle French applicable, Medieval Latin applicābilis; replacing late Middle English appliable
Related forms
applicability, applicableness, noun
applicably, adverb
nonapplicability, noun
nonapplicable, adjective
nonapplicableness, noun
unapplicability, noun
unapplicable, adjective
unapplicableness, noun
unapplicably, adverb
fitting, proper, germane, pertinent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for applicable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “But it is not safe to infer that the results of experiments on animals will be applicable to human beings,” I said.

    Meccania Owen Gregory
  • Micheals was certain that there were times when fighting fire with fire was not applicable.

    The Leech Phillips Barbee
  • The above method of artificial respiration is also applicable in cases of electric shock, suffocation by gas and smoke.

  • What applies to physical disease is just as applicable to mental disease.

    The Necessity of Atheism Dr. D.M. Brooks
  • The Convention of Geneva is applicable to the sick and wounded interned on neutral territory.

    International Law George Grafton Wilson and George Fox Tucker
British Dictionary definitions for applicable


/ˈæplɪkəbəl; əˈplɪkə-/
being appropriate or relevant; able to be applied; fitting
Derived Forms
applicability, applicableness, noun
applicably, 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 applicable

1560s, "pliable," with -able + Latin applicare (see apply). Meaning "capable of being applied" is from 1650s; earlier in this sense was appliable (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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