Why was clemency trending last week?


[vahy-uh-buh l] /ˈvaɪ ə bəl/
capable of living.
  1. physically fitted to live.
  2. (of a fetus) having reached such a stage of development as to be capable of living, under normal conditions, outside the uterus.
Botany. able to live and grow.
vivid; real; stimulating, as to the intellect, imagination, or senses:
a period of history that few teachers can make viable for students.
practicable; workable:
a viable alternative.
having the ability to grow, expand, develop, etc.:
a new and viable country.
Origin of viable
1820-30; < French, equivalent to vie life (< Latin vīta) + -able -able
Related forms
viability, noun
viably, adverb
unviable, adjective
Can be confused
feasible, viable.
5. practical, feasible, usable, adaptable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for viable
  • We need to cut spending to make our fiscal future more reasonable, more viable.
  • So planting trees or tall shrubs to give them the desired screening wasn't a viable option.
  • The wild out there some where has become less and less viable.
  • He sees nuclear power as political power, and discounts it as a viable military weapon.
  • He is also the one coherent, galvanizing, and viable figure among them.
  • There's no viable positive stance to take on her live work.
  • Even controversial nuclear energy is considered a viable option.
  • Another consideration is creating a vertical farm design that would be economically viable.
  • Solar shingles are an increasingly viable alternative.
  • After an hour, the neurosurgery team finished up, not entirely sure whether they had obtained a viable sample.
British Dictionary definitions for viable


capable of becoming actual, useful, etc; practicable: a viable proposition
(of seeds, eggs, etc) capable of normal growth and development
(of a fetus) having reached a stage of development at which further development can occur independently of the mother
Derived Forms
viability, noun
Word Origin
C19: from French, from vie life, from Latin vīta
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for viable

1828, from French viable "capable of life" (1530s), from vie "life" (from Latin vita "life;" see vital) + -able. Originally of newborn infants; generalized sense is first recorded 1848. Related: Viably; viability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
viable in Medicine

viable vi·a·ble (vī'ə-bəl)

  1. Capable of living, developing, or germinating under favorable conditions.

  2. Capable of living outside the uterus. Used of a fetus or newborn.

vi'a·bil'i·ty n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for viable

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for viable

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with viable

Nearby words for viable