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

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

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What does the word apropos mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary of the English Language, the word apropos can be used as an adjective, adverb or preposition. The word apropos describes something that is related to the subject or topic at hand, or appropriate for a certain situation. If a particular person is discussing idioms and everyone starts listing their favorite sayings and quotes, that would be apropos. If someone started discussing a different topic like the copyright infringement of an advertisement instead, this would not be apropos. The word apropos is used in US and UK English to describe something that is of a pertinent nature or opportune time. Apropos is three syllables – ap-ro-pos, and the pronunciation of apropos is ˌæp rəˈpoʊ.

Many different languages also use their own terms that mean apropos. You may notice that some of these translations of apropos from Word Sense look and sound similar to the word apropos. These are called cognates, which are formed when two words of different languages have the same language of origin or root. 

  •  Russian: уме́стный‎, подходя́щий‎
  •  Finnish: sopiva‎, osuva‎, oleellinen‎
  •  Hungarian: illő‎, találó‎
  •  Czech: odpovídající‎, relevantní‎, vztahující se‎, příslušný‎, patřičný‎ (masc.), vhodný‎ (masc.)
  •  French: à propos‎
  •  Italian: a proposito‎
  •  Greek: επίκαιρος‎ (masc.)
  •  Japanese: 当てはまる‎ (Atehamaru)
  •  Manx: traaoil‎
  •  Spanish: pertinente‎, oportuno‎Bulgarian: уместен, подходящ‎
  •  German: angemessen‎
  •  Swedish: relevant‎, tillämplig‎
  •  Portuguese: pertinente‎ (masc.)

What are synonyms and antonyms of apropos?

There are many different words that can be used in place of the word apropos. These words are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another given word or phrase. Learning synonyms is a great way to expand your vocabulary and avoid repeating yourself in written and spoken English. This list of synonyms for the word apropos is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  with respect to
  •  timely
  •  apropos of
  •  opportune
  •  in relation to
  •  concerning
  •  becoming
  •  material
  •  applicable
  •  the point
  •  apposite
  •  suitable
  •  as to
  •  as regards
  •  appropriate
  •  fitting
  •  incidentally
  •  parenthetically
  •  in regard to
  •  by the bye
  •  toward
  •  respecting
  •  felicitous
  •  correct
  •  referring to
  •  apt
  •  fit
  •  by the by
  •  suited
  •  regarding
  •  pertinent
  •  as for
  •  in re
  •  proper
  •  in connection with
  •  germane
  •  relevant
  •  pat
  •  relating to
  •  right
  •  anent
  •  seasonably
  •  as respects
  •  seemly
  •  befitting
  •  en passant
  •  with reference to
  •  by the way
  •  relative to
  •  about

There are also plenty of different words that have the opposite meaning of apropos. These opposite words are called antonyms, which are another great tool for expanding your English language vocabulary in a quick and easy way. This list of antonyms is also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  at half cock
  •  contrary to
  •  not clearly connected to
  •  accidentally on purpose
  •  notwithstanding
  •  antagonistic towards
  •  brushing aside
  •  distant
  •  in contrast
  •  impertinent
  •  at half-cock
  •  objectionable
  •  against
  •  irrelevantly
  •  awkward
  •  disagreeable
  •  inapt
  •  despite
  •  however
  •  as opposed to
  •  inappropriate
  •  passing over
  •  heedless of
  •  in opposition to
  •  in spite of
  •  apropos of nothing
  •  conversely
  •  irrelevant
  •  inapplicable
  •  against that
  •  not logically connected to
  •  never minding
  •  irrelative
  •  averse to
  •  on the other hand
  •  inapposite
  •  ignoring
  •  unsuitable
  •  minor
  •  ignoring the fact
  •  indecorous
  •  in disagreement with
  •  extraneous
  •  independent from
  •  contra
  •  in contrast to
  •  malapropos
  •  dead set against
  •  nasty
  •  opposed to

What is the word origin of apropos?

According to Etymonline, the word apropos has been used since the 17th century. This word comes from the Old French à propos meaning to the purpose, from the word propos meaning a conversation. This word comes from the Latin propositium, from the past participle neuter of proponere/past participle of prōpōnere. 

How can the word apropos be used in a sentence?

The word apropos can be used in numerous different sentences in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions so that you can incorporate them into your vocabulary. You can also try making flashcards or quizzes for yourself to test you knowledge of different terms. Try to use this new word of the day in a sentence today! It might become a new favorite word. Below are several examples of the word apropos to help get you started. 

He waited for the right moment to make the first move by way of introduction to his friend. Her earlier comments implied that she definitely noticed him, but his approach still felt apropos.

Her discussion of gender roles in her last blog entry ended up being incredibly apropos when the chief justice’s questions on the top players of soccer came off as incredibly sexist and misogynistic.

The average inflation was apropos for the price-path target, and the economist assured the business that they had nothing to worry about. They still began to get nervous when they saw their stock prices fluctuate with no end in sight. The CEO worried they would go bankrupt. 

The babysitter’s conversation with the toddler covered so many topics in such a short period, her head was spinning. The toddler could not seem to state anything apropos to the subject at hand, and bounced around from topic to topic very quickly. 

While the man felt that his opinion on men’s rights activism was apropos to the others’ discussion of feminism and the ever-growing wage gap, it really just made him come off like a tone deaf misogynist who had to make every conversation about himself. 

Overall, the word apropos means appropriate or relevant to the subject or topic at hand. The word apropos is French and Latin in origin, and can be used in many circumstances in order to discuss something that is relevant or on topic.

Sources:

  1. apropos: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. Apropos synonyms – 411 Words and Phrases for Apropos | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Apropos antonyms – 176 Opposites of Apropos | Power Thesaurus