9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[rel-uh-vuh ns] /ˈrɛl ə vəns/
the condition of being relevant, or connected with the matter at hand:
Some traditional institutions of the media lack relevance in this digital age.
Also, relevancy.


[rel-uh-vuh nt] /ˈrɛl ə vənt/
bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand; pertinent:
a relevant remark.
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 forms
relevance, relevancy, noun
relevantly, adverb
nonrelevant, adjective
unrelevant, adjective
unrelevantly, adverb
applicable, germane, apposite, appropriate, suitable, fitting. See apt.
Pronunciation note
See irrelevant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for relevancy
  • Professors openly acknowledge their lack of relevancy, while students routinely skip them.
  • At some point, faculty needs to open their eyes in the lecture hall and realize the effectiveness and relevancy of their old ways.
  • It is amazing how much that added to the relevancy of their instruction and the intelligence of their counseling.
  • The site archives millions of strategically-selected postings, organized through advanced search and relevancy options.
  • Studies show that video games that encourage physical activity also help with depression, sense of place and relevancy.
  • The relevancy of cross-country groupings lies in their ability to overcome difference while focusing on all that binds them.
  • As another fashion season gets underway, the conversation about the relevancy of the runway show continues.
  • We apply our own internal standards of relevancy and fairness every single day.
  • relevancy ranking refers to how search results are ranked or ordered in the result set.
  • The purpose of the relevancy hearing is to review the evidence and determine whether it is relevant for trial purposes.
British Dictionary definitions for relevancy


having direct bearing on the matter in hand; pertinent
(linguistics) another word for distinctive (sense 2)
Derived Forms
relevance, relevancy, noun
relevantly, 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
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Word Origin and History for relevancy



"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.



1733; see relevant + -ance. Related: Relevancy (1560s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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