The Meaning of Amenable: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of amenable? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word amenable, including its definition, etymology, usage, example uses, and more!

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What does the word amenable mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and Cambridge English Dictionary, the word amenable (pronunciation: ə-mē ​nə-bəl) is an adjective that means susceptible to influence by a suggestion or persuasion. For example, cattle might be amenable to the influence of a herding dog. A tumor or illness might be amenable to surgical treatment. With regard to the law or in a constitutional court, this word can also mean liable to be brought to account. This word can take on a variety of suffixes besides ble to make different parts of speech, such as bly to make the adverb amenably or ty to make amenability. Many people might be amenable to higher authority out of fear. Older wood might be amenable to new shoots if given plenty of light. Others might be amenable to new ideas if they seem innovative. A responsive student might be amenable to the requests of fellow graduate students in the mathematics department of Princeton University. Little boys might be amenable to the rules for the promise of ice cream. 

Many different languages also contain words that mean amenable. You may notice that some of these words look similar to English words. These are called cognates, which are words that look and sound the same, while also retaining the same meaning as a word of another language. These are often formed when two words have the same root or language of origin. This list of translations for the word amenable is provided by Word Sense.

  •  German: ansprechbar‎, fügsam‎, gefügig‎, zugängig‎, zugänglich‎
  •  Spanish: receptivo‎, susceptible‎
  •  Portuguese: aberto‎, receptivo‎
  •  Bulgarian: податлив‎, поддаващ се‎, послушен‎
  •  Turkish: bağlı‎, cevap verebilir‎, tabi olan‎, yumuşak başlı‎
  •  Finnish: vastaanottavainen‎
  •  Russian: сгово́рчивый‎ 

How can the word amenable be used in a sentence?

The word amenable can be used in many different circumstances to describe those who are easily persuaded or who are susceptible to influence. In this first example, Hannah has bought a gadget from a television advertisement. Lewis questions her purchase.

Hannah: Look at this new waffle maker!

Lewis: Why would you buy a waffle maker? We’ve never eaten waffles for breakfast before.

Hannah: Well the ad said it saved time and money, was super easy to clean, and that you could make way more than just waffles in it. 

Lewis: You’re so amenable to advertisements. 

Here, Lewis says that Hannah is amenable to commercials. She is easily influenced by advertisements and is easily swayed into purchasing things. In this next example, Lewis comes home exhausted.

Hannah: What’s the matter?

Lewis: The partners were all over me today. I literally haven’t stopped working since 7AM.

Hannah: Well, they have to give you a break.

Lewis: They don’t. They expect me to be like the energizer bunny all day long.

Hannah: Don’t be a pushover. The more amenable you are to their every request, the more they think they can walk all over you.

Lewis: You’re right. 

Here, Hannah suggests that Lewis is too amenable to his bosses’ requests and that they are taking advantage of him as a result.

What is the origin of the word amenable?

According to Etymonline, the word amenable has been used since the 1590s to mean accountable. This comes from the Anglo-French amenable, from the Middle French and Old French amener meaning to conduct or lead. This comes from the Latin ad meaning “to” and the root mener meaning “to lead.” These come from the Latin mināre and the Latin minār​​ī meaning to project. This comes from Proto-Indo-European roots. The word amenable has meant tractable since the year 1803. Related words include amenably (adv.), amenability (n.) and amenableness (n.)

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word amenable?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word amenable. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Learning synonyms can help you to avoid repeating yourself as well as expand your English language vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word amenable is provided by Thesaurus

  •  sympathetic
  •  persuadable
  •  manageable
  •  obedient
  •  susceptible
  •  pussycat
  •  welcome
  •  to one’s liking
  •  open
  •  acquiescent
  •  tractable
  •  delightful
  •  consenting
  •  hunky-dory
  •  peachy
  •  delicious
  •  in accord
  •  spiffy
  •  well-disposed
  •  mild
  •  pliable
  •  influenceable
  •  grateful
  •  congenial
  •  swell
  •  peach
  •  concurring
  •  satisfying
  •  enjoyable
  •  gratifying
  •  agreeable
  •  fine
  •  dandy
  •  docile
  •  favorable
  •  complying
  •  ready
  •  to one’s taste
  •  acceptable
  •  pleasureful
  •  approving
  •  willing
  •  pleasurable
  •  pleasant
  •  responsive
  •  biddable
  •  nice
  •  fair

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word amenable. These are called antonyms. These opposite words are also great to learn if you are looking for a quick and easy way to grow your English language vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word amenable is provided by Thesaurus as well. 

  •  dissident
  •  ornery
  •  balky
  •  opposed
  •  clashing
  •  unpleasant
  •  disagreeable
  •  stubborn
  •  unruly
  •  antithetical
  •  contrary
  •  negative
  •  wayward
  •  conflicting
  •  inconsistent
  •  petulant
  •  contradictory
  •  contumacious
  •  intractable
  •  unfriendly
  •  antipodean
  •  ungracious
  •  recusant
  •  antipathetic
  •  contentious
  •  perverse
  •  peevish
  •  rude
  •  eristic
  •  snappy
  •  rebellious
  •  offensive
  •  counter
  •  surly
  •  antagonistic
  •  insubordinate
  •  contrariant
  •  cantankerous
  •  reverse
  •  converse
  •  wrongheaded
  •  difficult
  •  antipodal
  •  froward
  •  ugly
  •  bellicose
  •  nonconformist
  •  unlikable
  •  ill-natured
  •  cross
  •  inimical
  •  obstinate
  •  disputatious
  •  nonconforming
  •  hostile
  •  uptight
  •  brusque
  •  waspish
  •  headstrong
  •  querulous
  •  obnoxious
  •  recalcitrant
  •  grouchy
  •  churlish
  •  disobliging
  •  anti
  •  diametric
  •  out of sorts
  •  dissentient
  •  adverse
  •  nasty
  •  whiny
  •  refractory
  •  pettish
  •  paradoxical
  •  discordant
  •  restive

Overall, the word amenable means susceptible to influence by persuasion ro suggestion. This word is Latin in origin, from the Late Latin minare and the  Latin minari. Amenable people are considered agreeable and friendly. 


  1. Amenable: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. AMENABLE Synonyms: 37 Synonyms & Antonyms for AMENABLE | Thesaurus 
  3. DISAGREEABLE Synonyms: 79 Synonyms & Antonyms for DISAGREEABLE | Thesaurus 
  4. Origin and meaning of amenable | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  5. Amenable | Definition of Amenable | Merriam-Webster 
  6. AMENABLE | Cambridge English Dictionary