Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Being both pertinent and fitting. See Synonyms at relevant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Related to the topic being discussed or considered.
  • n. germanium tetrahydride, GeH4
  • n. Any organic derivative of this compound.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Literally, near akin; hence, closely allied; appropriate or fitting; relevant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Closely akin; german.
  • Hence Bearing a close relation; relevant; pertinent.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. relevant and appropriate

Etymologies

Middle English germain, having the same parents, closely connected; see german2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Variant form of german, adapted in this sense in allusions to its use in Shakespeare's Hamlet. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Most germane is its inclusion of uncertainty in any interpretation of reality and the facts.

    February « 2009 « Sentence first

  • By defining the McCain 'culture war' attacks as 'lies,' the Obama camp deflected those points and stepped immediately into the act of re-stating their opening 'hope' frame in new terms germane to the moment: 'solve real problems'

    Jeffrey Feldman: The Winning Frame has Emerged

  • And there is another part which is certainly not less ridiculous, but being a trade in learning must be called by some name germane to the matter?

    The Sophist

  • Possibly the spirit of the artist is foreign to you, sir, yet perhaps I may put it in terms germane to your own profession.

    Double Star

  • Cosmo and Damian were brethren germane, that is of one father and of one mother, and were of the city Egea, and born of a religious mother named

    The Golden Legend, vol. 5

  • But in his whole presentation of God and our relation to him, there was neither thought nor phrase germane to sunrise or sunset, to the firmament or the wind or the grass or the trees; nothing that came to the human soul as having a reality true as that of the world but higher; as holding with the life lived in it, with the hopes and necessities of the heart and mind.

    There & Back

  • Both efforts were thwarted by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who ruled that they were not "germane" to the legislation under consideration.

    Taxpayer-Owned Fannie Mae Attacks Struggling Homeowners

  • "Academic freedom" only protects a professor's speech that is "germane" to the class 'subject.

    Greg Lukianoff: UC Santa Barbara Investigates Professor for Anti-Israel E-Mail

  • And yet, allegations are made here by posters that McCain failed to vett her, that Palin claimed the baby as her own, that Palin did a disservice to herself, and that Palin's falsely-alleged actions are now "germane" to the person and campaign.

    My Take on Covering Potentially Taboo Topics Like Bristol Palin's Baby on OEN

  • He felt 'black people' were not 'germane' to his plot.

    the misogyny post (updated)

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