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.

The best means, and most reliable pledge, of a higher object. Coleridge.

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.

⇒ 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.

-- Re*li"a*ble*ness, n. -- Re*li"a*bly, adv.

 

© Webster 1913.

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