Relevant Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Do you know the meaning of the word relevant? If not, here’s a guide to the word relevant, its definition, its etymology, and how to use it.

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Have you ever heard the word relevant? Believe us when we say that it relates to your life and is an important word to know. It can help make your writing and speech informative and clear, and it can liven up your vocabulary. 

So, today’s word of the day is relevant. By the end of this comprehensive, unabridged guide to relevant, its definitions, its history, and more, you’ll have a full understanding of what this important word means and how to use it in your life. Let’s get started.

What Is the Definition of Relevant?

The word relevant (pronounced ‘rel ləvənt or ˈreləvənt) is an adjective that can be used all over the place. It has a simple definition that is fairly easy to understand. 

Here’s an official definition of the word relevant:

  • Connected to, or pertinent to, the matter at hand; relating to what is happening or being talked about

The word relevant comes in a few forms. Turn it into the word relevance, and it becomes a noun referring to the connection or relation between two things. The adverb relevantly can be used to describe an action that is pertinent to a situation. 

Relevant also has significant legal bearing. This word is often used in a court of law to signify whether a piece of evidence proves a specific claim. 

Relevant is also commonly used in the world of data analysis and statistics. Measuring a statistic’s relevance is a measurement of how much statistical information is meeting the needs of a client. 

What Is the Etymology of the Word Relevant? 

To bring more clarity to the definition of relevant, let’s take a look at the word’s etymology and linguistics. By studying where the word came from, you can get a fuller grasp of its meaning and how to use it. 

So, let’s go back to the beginning. The word relevant has its earliest roots in the Latin present participle of relevare, which means “to lessen or to lighten, to help or assist.” We get the English word “relieve” from this root, too. 

Then the word evolved slightly, becoming the Medieval Latin relevans or relevatem, which means “helpful or dependant on.” 

From there, the word found its way into the French language in the form relevant, pronounced reh leh ‘vahn. Then, the word finally made its way into British English in the 16th century, combined with the same word from the Scot dialect, which was specifically used in a legal context. 

After the term made its way into the English language it did not really make its way into the limelight for much longer. In the 1700s, the noun form of the word, relevance, came about. This began to help the word become more popular. By the 1800s, it had become quite common.

What Are Some Examples of the Word Relevant in a Sentence? 

Here are some example sentences that use the word relevant. 

You said that he was Korean, but I don’t really see how that’s relevant to whether he should be a teacher here.

I’ll compile a list of relevant sources to help you in your research on restaurant apps. 

Latin may be a dead language, but because a great deal of English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian words come from it, it’s definitely still relevant today.

When we were writing the Middle English word lists, we didn’t include any new words created after 1700 because they weren’t relevant.

Before I go confront her, you need to tell me any relevant information you can so I can be prepared. 

Your honor, I don’t see how the defendant’s uncle is relevant when his alibi has already clearly put him miles from the scene of the crime on the night of the murder. 

I think the Norwegian and Swedish healthcare systems are absolutely relevant to the conversation about healthcare in the US. 

What Are Some Common Collocations for Relevant?

Because relevant is a fairly common word, there are some regularly used collocations that utilize it. Let’s go through a few of them. 

One very common collocation is the phrase “relevant information.” Oftentimes, people want to know information that is pertinent to what they’re trying to do. Sometimes, they exclusively want to know relevant information, so they might ask for it. 

Determining whether or not information is relevant is an important part of business, the justice system, and even regular conversation. 

Another common collocation is “hardly relevant.” This phrase is often used in arguments. If you’re talking to somebody and they bring up something that is out of pocket or not pertinent to the debate, you might tell them, “Well, that is hardly relevant!

What Are Some Synonyms for the Word Relevant?

Here are some synonyms for the word relevant that you might find in a thesaurus. 

  • Significant
  • Applicable
  • Important
  • Pertinent
  • Related
  • Compatible
  • Suitable
  • Apposite

What Are Some Antonyms?

Here are some antonyms for the word relevant. 

  • Inapplicable
  • Inappropriate
  • Irrelevant 
  • Unfitting
  • Unrelated
  • Unimportant


As you can see, the world relevant is an incredibly common and important word used in the English language. Including it into our vocabulary can help us communicate better with one another. 

Now you know everything you need to know about the word relevant. Use it in your writing, your conversation, and your daily life. If you ever need a refresher on this word, its meanings, and its etymology, come back to this article for the information you need. 


  1. Relevance Definition | OECD Glossary of Statistical Terms 
  2. Relevant | Cambridge English Dictionary 
  3. Relevant | Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias