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[lej-uh-buh l] /ˈlɛdʒ ə bəl/
capable of being read or deciphered, especially with ease, as writing or printing; easily readable.
capable of being discerned or distinguished:
Anger was legible in his looks and behavior.
Origin of legible
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin legibilis; equivalent to leg(ere) to read + -ibilis -ible
Related forms
legibly, adverb
unlegible, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for legible
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Among the advantages claimed for the machine are certainty of legible copies, copies of all corrections, and economy of operation.

  • He accomplished a legible Borroughs & Wellcome after many trials.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • She had commented frequently on his firm, legible script when auditing his accounts in company with her brother.

    The Song of the Wolf Frank Mayer
  • It was his "press" handwriting, plain, rapid, and as legible as print.

    The Slave Of The Lamp Henry Seton Merriman
  • As everyone knew how Edith hated writing and never could write a legible hand, a laugh went up, in which Edith joined heartily.

    The Blue Birds' Winter Nest Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • I know not if these lines be legible, nor if I have crossed or recrossed them.

  • The loudest talkers became silent as we neared it, and their countenances showed apprehension written in legible characters.

    Travels in Arabia Bayard Taylor
  • There is no great skill in reading, where the print is legible.

    Confessions Of Con Cregan Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for legible


(of handwriting, print, etc) able to be read or deciphered
able to be discovered; discernible
Derived Forms
legibility, legibleness, noun
legibly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin legibilis, from Latin legere to read
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 legible

late 14c., from Late Latin legibilis "that can be read," from Latin legere "to read" (see lecture (n.)). Related: Legibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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