• 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Europe is famous for having so many miles of navigable waterways, so the Viking ships could and did travel far inland.’
    • ‘France alone has almost 4,200 miles of navigable waterways.’
    • ‘Should there be an issue we will of course make whatever engineering adjustments are necessary in order to preserve the navigable channel.’
    • ‘Nigerians rarely transported locally brewed alcohol outside the area of production except where navigable waterways allowed.’
    • ‘With thousands of miles of navigable waterways, the state leads the nation in waterborne cargo, handling some 500 million tons a year.’
    • ‘We have a statutory obligation to make sure that certain waterways are navigable.’
    • ‘Its aim is to manage, maintain, develop and restore the inland navigable waterways in Ireland.’
    • ‘And despite it being a navigable waterway, in the whole day we saw about eight boats.’
    • ‘Such commerce on the national scale was made possible by China's system of navigable waterways, partly natural and partly man-made.’
    • ‘The Atlantic facade offers warm, mostly navigable seas, a complex, mineral-rich geology, and spectacular biodiversity.’
    • ‘These are the two main navigable waterways leading to ports in Iraq.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Trapped, they chose to paddle three miles down the coast to Waimea, where they hoped the deep-water bay would provide a navigable channel.’
    • ‘Ice buoys in the U.S. are found in navigable waterways prone to freezing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 Danube River, Austria's only navigable waterway, flows from southeastern Germany across northern Austria.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘Although heavily pitted and badly repaired, the motorway was still navigable.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘Storefronts are empty, the restaurants quiet, the streets-where you once had to fight your way through crowds-are now easily navigable.’
      • ‘The tarmac then gives way to a stony track which is navigable by most pushchairs, assisted wheelchair users and powerchairs.’
      • ‘The road is rough but easily navigable in most hire cars (a 4WD jeep might prove more comfortable).’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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’
    • ‘It is a great playing game that is highly suited to the console platform with its simple controls, easily navigable menus and great graphics.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The easily navigable Website organizes its archive into four parts, running chronologically from pre-publication to response.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On the other hand, screens on a Web site could be intuitive and navigable by anyone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's only navigable with the mouse and, even then, you're only able to close it.’
    • ‘It's not too flashy but is clearly navigable and easy to understand.’
    • ‘Many of our informants emphasized how important it is to have an easily navigable Web site.’
    • ‘Collaborative Virtual Environments are systems that transform computer networks into navigable and populated 3D spaces.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Create a simple, clean design for your web site that is easily navigable.’


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