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From relevant +‎ -ancy.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɹɛlɪvənsi/
  • Hyphenation: rel‧e‧van‧cy


relevancy (countable and uncountable, plural relevancies)

  1. (law, Scotland) Sufficiency (of a statement, claim etc.) to carry weight in law; legal pertinence. [from 16th c.]
  2. (uncountable) The degree to which a thing is relevant; relevance, applicability. [from 17th c.]
    • 1842, Edgar Allan Poe, The Myster of Marie Rogêt:
      It is the malpractice of the courts to confine evidence and discussion to the bounds of apparent relevancy.
  3. (countable) A relevant thing. [from 19th c.]
    • 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.

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 relevancy.


Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]