relevancy

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

relevancy (countable and uncountable, plural relevancies)

  1. (uncountable) The degree to which a thing is relevant; applicability
    Its answer little meaning, little relevancy bore. — Poe.
  2. (countable) A relevant thing.
    • 1895, Mark Twain, Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences:
      To believe that such talk really ever came out of people's mouths would be to believe that there was a time when time was of no value to a person who thought he had something to say; when it was the custom to spread a two-minute remark out to ten; when a man's mouth was a rolling-mill, and busied itself all day long in turning four-foot pigs of thought into thirty-foot bars of conversational railroad iron by attenuation; when subjects were seldom faithfully stuck to, but the talk wandered all around and arrived nowhere; when conversations consisted mainly of irrelevancies, with here and there a relevancy, a relevancy with an embarrassed look, as not being able to explain how it got there.
  3. (law, Scotland) sufficiency to infer the conclusion

Usage notes[edit]

  • In contemporary usage relevance is about 20 times more common in the US (COCA) and about 50 times more common in the UK (BNC) than this term.

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External links[edit]

  • relevancy in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911