Reliable Re*li"a*ble (r?-l?"?-b'l), a. Suitable or fit to be relied on; worthy of dependance or reliance; trustworthy. ``A reliable witness to the truth of the miracles.'' --A. Norton. [1913 Webster]

The best means, and most reliable pledge, of a higher object. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster]

According to General Livingston's humorous account, his own village of Elizabethtown was not much more reliable, being peopled in those agitated times by ``unknown, unrecommended strangers, guilty-looking Tories, and very knavish Whigs.'' --W. Irving. [1913 Webster]

Note: Some authors take exception to this word, maintaining that it is unnecessary, and irregular in formation. It is, however, sanctioned by the practice of many careful writers as a most convenient substitute for the phrase to be relied upon, and a useful synonym for trustworthy, which is by preference applied to persons, as reliable is to things, such as an account, statement, or the like. The objection that adjectives derived from neuter verbs do not admit of a passive sense is met by the citation of laughable, worthy of being laughed at, from the neuter verb to laugh; available, fit or able to be availed of, from the neuter verb to avail; dispensable, capable of being dispensed with, from the neuter verb to dispense. Other examples might be added. [1913 Webster] -- {Re*li"a*ble*ness}, n. -- {Re*li"a*bly}, adv. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • reliable — reliable, dependable, trustworthy, trusty, tried can be applied to persons, their utterances, views, methods, or instruments to mean having or manifesting qualities which merit confidence or trust. Reliable describes what one can count upon not… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • reliable — I adjective accurate, assured, authentic, believable, certain, competent, conclusive, conscientious, constant, credible, definite, dependable, devoted, evidential, exact, faithful, genuine, guaranteed, honest, honorable, incontestable,… …   Law dictionary

  • reliable — [ri lī′ə bəl] adj. that can be relied on; dependable; trustworthy reliability n. reliableness reliably adv. SYN. RELIABLE is applied to a person or thing that can be counted upon to do what is expected or required [a reliable assistant ];… …   English World dictionary

  • reliable — 1560s, raliabill, Scottish; see RELY (Cf. rely) + ABLE (Cf. able). Not common before 1850; and execrated thereafter in Britain as an Americanism. Related: Reliably; reliability …   Etymology dictionary

  • reliable — has, surprisingly, been in common use only since about 1850, and was once objected to on the ground that it ought to mean ‘able to rely’ and not, as it does, ‘able to be relied on’, since rely cannot by itself take an object, as most verbs… …   Modern English usage

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  • reliable — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ able to be relied on. DERIVATIVES reliability noun reliably adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • reliable */*/ — UK [rɪˈlaɪəb(ə)l] / US adjective 1) a) a reliable person is someone who you can trust to behave well, work hard, or do what you expect them to do Alice can look after the children. She s very reliable. a reliable workman/car b) a reliable vehicle …   English dictionary

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