• 1(of a waterway or sea) able to be sailed on by ships or boats.

    ‘a navigable channel’
    ‘many of the rivers ceased to be navigable’
    • ‘Such commerce on the national scale was made possible by China's system of navigable waterways, partly natural and partly man-made.’
    • ‘Should there be an issue we will of course make whatever engineering adjustments are necessary in order to preserve the navigable channel.’
    • ‘France alone has almost 4,200 miles of navigable waterways.’
    • ‘This is where the river splits into three main navigable channels to the Black Sea, two natural and one man-made, giving captains a choice of routes with distances varying from 35 to 70 miles.’
    • ‘With thousands of miles of navigable waterways, the state leads the nation in waterborne cargo, handling some 500 million tons a year.’
    • ‘And despite it being a navigable waterway, in the whole day we saw about eight boats.’
    • ‘Nigerians rarely transported locally brewed alcohol outside the area of production except where navigable waterways allowed.’
    • ‘Ice buoys in the U.S. are found in navigable waterways prone to freezing.’
    • ‘The Atlantic facade offers warm, mostly navigable seas, a complex, mineral-rich geology, and spectacular biodiversity.’
    • ‘Europe is famous for having so many miles of navigable waterways, so the Viking ships could and did travel far inland.’
    • ‘Trapped, they chose to paddle three miles down the coast to Waimea, where they hoped the deep-water bay would provide a navigable channel.’
    • ‘With its action, the state's highest court has potentially granted exclusive fishing rights to anyone owning land traversed by a recognized navigable waterway.’
    • ‘The River Lea has been an important navigable waterway into London for over 500 years, and during the 18th century the navigation was much improved with new cuts and locks.’
    • ‘A chain blocked the navigable channel, secured on one side by the city walls and on the other by a tower on an island close to the shore.’
    • ‘The mountainous topography and the lack of navigable waterways were an almost insuperable obstacle to the movement of passengers and freight.’
    • ‘The trust's ultimate aim is to restore the canal, as a continuous navigable waterway.’
    • ‘Its aim is to manage, maintain, develop and restore the inland navigable waterways in Ireland.’
    • ‘These are the two main navigable waterways leading to ports in Iraq.’
    • ‘The Danube River, Austria's only navigable waterway, flows from southeastern Germany across northern Austria.’
    • ‘We have a statutory obligation to make sure that certain waterways are navigable.’
    passable, negotiable, traversable, able to be sailed on, able to be travelled on, crossable
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a track or road) suitable for vehicles.
      ‘a good cart track, navigable by cars’
      • ‘The tarmac then gives way to a stony track which is navigable by most pushchairs, assisted wheelchair users and powerchairs.’
      • ‘The streets are ordered and navigable, but not to the point of becoming mundane.’
      • ‘Compare that to Stamford Bridge or Highbury, for example, where more fans go by tube, and the local roads are a little more navigable.’
      • ‘The bridge's walkway is curved, so that when it swings up to make a navigable passage and the arch above it swings down level with it, the pair of them form a barrel vault, its surface defined by the horizontal cables joining them.’
      • ‘Haven't we all, at some time, had to face the near trauma of parking aside for hours waiting for flooded roads to become navigable?’
      • ‘The road is rough but easily navigable in most hire cars (a 4WD jeep might prove more comfortable).’
      • ‘Although heavily pitted and badly repaired, the motorway was still navigable.’
      • ‘Storefronts are empty, the restaurants quiet, the streets-where you once had to fight your way through crowds-are now easily navigable.’
  • 2(of a website) easy to move around in.

    ‘the use of white space can help make your mobile-optimized site clearer and more navigable’
    • ‘I may be in the minority of web users but if they can't be bothered to provide a navigable site, I can't be bothered to visit their cinema.’
    • ‘They provide a navigable foundation enabling the logical, intuitive access of data.’
    • ‘The short films, no longer an endangered species, are archived on an easily navigable Web site.’
    • ‘Many of our informants emphasized how important it is to have an easily navigable Web site.’
    • ‘The navigable scenes were then saved to a CD that is now stored at the county courthouse.’
    • ‘And they kept the website looking sharp and easily navigable.’
    • ‘It's not too flashy but is clearly navigable and easy to understand.’
    • ‘According to the request for tenders, the websites have to be navigable in English and Irish and should be able to support content in French, Spanish and German.’
    • ‘Create a simple, clean design for your web site that is easily navigable.’
    • ‘It is a great playing game that is highly suited to the console platform with its simple controls, easily navigable menus and great graphics.’
    • ‘Collaborative Virtual Environments are systems that transform computer networks into navigable and populated 3D spaces.’
    • ‘The easily navigable Website organizes its archive into four parts, running chronologically from pre-publication to response.’
    • ‘On the other hand, screens on a Web site could be intuitive and navigable by anyone.’
    • ‘It's only navigable with the mouse and, even then, you're only able to close it.’


Early 16th century: from French navigable or Latin navigabilis, from the verb navigare ‘to sail’ (see navigate).