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[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 relevant
  • Then use your own filter to edit out what's either relevant to you or not relevant to you.
  • One hallmark of an exceptional work of art is its ability to remain relevant.
  • Would greatly appreciate any e-mails relevant to the current status of this excavation.
  • Both would be relevant to ideas about how birds evolved.
  • Knowledge of best practices in academic advising, student retention, and relevant trends in higher education.
  • None of those sections were directly relevant to the position she is applying for.
  • If not, they can always import that experience by bringing in guest speakers or studying relevant essays or video clips.
  • The résumé looks much better with the addition of bullet points and the inclusion of relevant employment experience.
  • The next trick, upon locating interesting candidates, entails convincing relevant departments to consider hiring them.
  • Applicants must show a strong interest in pursuing a career in journalism with relevant coursework or prior experience.
British Dictionary definitions for relevant


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 relevant

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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