adjective | jer-MAYN

What It Means

Germane is a formal synonym of relevant that describes something related to a subject in an appropriate way.

// Her comments were not germane to the discussion.

// While these facts about the witness may interest the jury, they are not in fact germane.

Examples of GERMANE

“Corporate retreats aren’t just for fun and games; they are for tackling germane issues that are critical to the success of any such organisation.” — Abiola Salami, Forbes, 11 Dec. 2023.

Did You Know?

“Wert thou a Leopard, thou wert Germane to the Lion.” So wrote William Shakespeare in his five-act tragedy Timon of Athens, using an old (and now-obsolete) sense of germane meaning “closely akin.” Germane comes to us from the Middle English word germain, meaning “having the same parents.” (An early noun sense of germane also referred specifically to children of the same parents.) Today, something said to be germane is figuratively “related” in that it is relevant or fitting to something else, as when music critic Amanda Petrusich wrote of an album by the Chicks: “‘Gaslighter’ is brasher and more pop-oriented than anything the band has done before. Part of this shift feels germane to our era—the idea of genre, as it applies to contemporary music, is growing less and less relevant—but it also feels like a final repudiation of country music, and of a community that mostly failed to support or to understand one of its biggest acts.”

Merriam-Webster Dictionary