Definition of acceptable in US English:



  • 1Able to be agreed on; suitable.

    ‘has tried to find a solution acceptable to everyone’
    • ‘He said: ‘We are continuing to work with CHARD to come up with a solution that's acceptable to all parties.’’
    • ‘‘Surely we have rights,’ he said as he pinned his hopes on the six elected members for the area to find a solution that will be acceptable to everyone.’
    • ‘It's to National's discredit that they continue to play politics with the issue, rather than trying to work together to find a solution acceptable to all.’
    • ‘First, tell the child that you think there is a problem to be solved, and that you want to find a solution that's acceptable to both of you.’
    • ‘Union officials are hopeful that a solution will be found that is acceptable to the trustee by November 17, the latest deadline to be set by the High Court judge looking at the case.’
    • ‘The mid-term aim was to come up with a marketable solution that would be acceptable to a greater number of customers, resulting in higher production volumes.’
    • ‘The truth is that negotiations with the manager and his agent, Liam Gaskin, were extremely cordial as they have always been, and we arrived at a solution acceptable to all parties in a very short time.’
    • ‘He said a solution had to be found that was acceptable to all parties involved, especially Dúchas, Kerry County Council and recreational users of Rossbeigh Spit.’
    • ‘In my dealings I was attempting to find an solution that would be acceptable to both parties; this only broke down when I felt that they were not doing the same.’
    • ‘They carried out a series of very comprehensive consultations amongst themselves and they came up with a solution that was acceptable to them.’
    • ‘Then, taking one issue at a time, the parties review the ideas, modifying and combining them to achieve a practical solution acceptable to both.’
    • ‘They must be taken to know whether the undoubted interference with their property rights is acceptable to them or not.’
    • ‘Finding a solution acceptable to all is likely to prove tricky.’
    • ‘The Executive is now anxious to find a solution that would be acceptable to both fishermen and conservationists.’
    • ‘He was disappointed that the Company did not find a site that would have been suitable and acceptable to people in the area.’
    • ‘The issue should be solved through dialogue, because this is the only way to reach a solution acceptable to all sides.’
    • ‘Internationally agreed criteria, acceptable to all, need to be developed.’
    • ‘But nor did the nineteenth century find a solution acceptable to both sides.’
    • ‘A European Union spokesman said that the government must find ‘a solution which is acceptable to all parties in Zanzibar.’’
    • ‘Instead of finding solutions that are acceptable to both sides they impose a direction such that you're either with them or against them.’
    suitable, appropriate, fitting, fit, correct, proper, desirable, preferable, ideal
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    1. 1.1 Adequate; satisfactory.
      ‘an acceptable substitute for champagne’
      • ‘Instead Wednesday and Thursday saw moderate but acceptable gains, indicating that the bad news has been discounted.’
      • ‘The search for an acceptable substitute was already well underway by 1905.’
      • ‘But woe betide Town Council officialdom if there is another broken promise in respect of putting this bandstand into a decent and acceptable state of repair.’
      • ‘You could use ground dried ginger instead of ginger root in the following recipe, but it is not really an acceptable substitute.’
      • ‘Finally, when you start discussing that the people at the next table arrived after you and are now happily tucking into their food, the window of acceptable time from order to table firmly closes.’
      • ‘No, the only acceptable reason to stay home is the kids.’
      • ‘I'd think a postcard from the next city would be an acceptable substitute for a formal thank you note.’
      • ‘I could squeeze my own lemons, but Jif make a perfectly acceptable substitute.’
      • ‘Now, that is perfectly conventional and acceptable reasoning, and that determines this case.’
      • ‘She sank onto the camp bed, pleased to find the mattress in acceptable condition.’
      • ‘Then, if the paper money remains an acceptable substitute for the metallic money, no significant burden falls on the public.’
      • ‘Aristocratic charm is not an acceptable substitute for morals.’
      • ‘I don't smoke, however, so I'm hoping nibbling on expensive dark chocolates will be an acceptable substitute.’
      • ‘Shop-bought sandwiches are acceptable.’
      • ‘I don't think money is an acceptable substitute.’
      • ‘It can look a little gauche to blog about some seemingly random scrap of nostalgia, but if I link those memories to an anniversary then suddenly my blogpost has an acceptable reason to exist.’
      • ‘There was, they believed, simply no acceptable substitute for silk.’
      • ‘I found their arguments reasonable and a moderately acceptable update on the original book.’
      • ‘Much of the trade sought to replace imports with local substitutes of acceptable quality but lower cost.’
      • ‘Then, too, he is an acceptable moderator to the candidates because he's firmly predictable.’
      satisfactory, adequate, reasonable, quite good, fair, decent, good enough, sufficient, sufficiently good, fine, in order, up to scratch, up to the mark, up to standard, up to par, competent, not bad, all right, average, tolerable, passable, middling, moderate
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    2. 1.2 Pleasing; welcome.
      ‘some coffee would be most acceptable’
      • ‘Otherwise, this is a very acceptable print that should please all 248 gazillion fans.’
      • ‘The Velodrome, Arunga Park, Pioneer Park and the Golf Course are all venues that are rated as being up with the best in the land, and most acceptable for elite competition.’
      • ‘Mind you, that was back when a pack of three new handkerchiefs was a highly acceptable and very welcome gift for Christmas.’
      • ‘Tobacco and snuff were convenient and acceptable items, and more luxurious fare was provided when possible.’
      welcome, appreciated
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  • 2Able to be tolerated or allowed.

    ‘pollution in the city had reached four times the acceptable level’
    • ‘You are quite satisfied that that is acceptable?’
    • ‘Is it appropriate and acceptable to come to this House dressed like that?’
    • ‘Try to replace swear words with acceptable substitutes.’
    • ‘Codes of conduct lay down acceptable standards of behaviour.’
    • ‘We all talked about how washing the hair allows nurses to provide acceptable touching and that massaging the head can be relaxing.’
    • ‘They are standards that provide a basis for consistent and acceptable minimal levels of quality, performance, safety, and reliability.’
    • ‘They have been asked to submit a technical proposal outlining specific building or insulation plans to contain the noise levels to an acceptable standard within an appropriate timescale.’
    • ‘If he hadn't made such a fuss about acceptable standards of behaviour, his fall from grace might not have been so swift and calamitous.’
    • ‘Maybe the electorate believes that these acts of deception are acceptable standards of behaviour in today's society?’
    • ‘The report makes a number of recommendations to ‘bring standards of safety and quality to acceptable levels for the twenty-first century.’’
    • ‘The problems stemmed from different standards of privacy and acceptable noise levels.’
    • ‘Earlier this year, Ofsted said many schools were being held back by low-level disruption and revealed that only one in three secondary schools had acceptable standards of behaviour.’
    • ‘If their behaviour falls below acceptable standards they will be prosecuted.’
    • ‘If nothing else, the fact that some men assault women lowers our standards for acceptable behavior.’
    • ‘Scotland's crumbling road network urgently needs maintenance worth £1bn just to bring highways up to an acceptable standard, a new report reveals.’
    • ‘That was twenty years ago and I am sure that times have changed and it would no longer be allowed or acceptable.’
    • ‘We also know that the Dunedin City Council is budgeting $30 million, over the next 2 years, to get its water standards up to an acceptable level.’
    • ‘The tests showed the levels were within the acceptable standards for the EU and New Zealand.’
    • ‘They argue that governments, parents, and other social institutions should use force to maintain standards of acceptable behavior.’
    • ‘Important issues emerged regarding the influence of peer pressure and acceptable standards of behaviour among young people in relation to risk-taking behaviours.’
    bearable, tolerable, allowable, admissible, supportable, sustainable, justifiable, defensible, defendable
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  • the acceptable face of

    • The tolerable or attractive manifestation or aspect of.

      ‘he presents himself as the acceptable face of gambling’
      • ‘Although the initials in both cases designate motorcycle clubs, MCC groups are the acceptable face of the biking movement.’
      • ‘Since for Classical Realists morality is subordinate to power, hegemony is simply the acceptable face of dominance, and it declines when other states have sufficient power to challenge it.’
      • ‘The vacherin dish is the acceptable face of fondue for anyone still scared off by memories of clichéd Seventies fondue parties, and the reblochon tartiflette is the perfect teatime snack for straight after you get your boots off.’
      • ‘David Begg was, for years, the acceptable face of trade unionism, a forward thinker who knew the union movement would have to adapt itself to the modern age.’
      • ‘Somehow, Spy Daddy is the acceptable face of the female rescue fantasy.’
      • ‘Each are the acceptable face of that much derided musical heritage - English folk music.’
      • ‘But Shanahan's isn't about bargain food, it's the acceptable face of excess.’
      • ‘Lap dancing clubs have opened all across the country, and men's magazines like Loaded and FHM remain the acceptable face of pornography.’
      • ‘Christopher Hogwood was the acceptable face of early music, a conductor who never allowed dogmas of authenticity to overwhelm musicality.’
      • ‘Sandy Brindley of Rape Crisis added: ‘Lap dancing presents itself as the acceptable face of the sex industry.’’
      • ‘Simmons is the acceptable face of rap culture and is reputed to be worth more than $200m.’
      • ‘For 25 years, Sir Richard (knighted in last year's millennium honours) has been the acceptable face of capitalism.’
      • ‘Frithiof the Viking becomes the acceptable face of constitutional monarchy, democratic accountability, social Darwinism, upward social mobility, and family values spirituality.’
      • ‘He was very much the acceptable face of militant republicanism.’
      • ‘Throughout his career he retained the Fauvist love of bright colour, but he toned down Fauvist aggressiveness to create a stylish and exuberant art that to many people represented the acceptable face of modernism.’
      • ‘Perhaps they want to elect, what would be to them, the acceptable face of conservatism.’
      • ‘Boris [elected as MP for Henley in June's general election] is the acceptable face of Conservatism; he gets out there and promotes the magazine.’
      • ‘The 44-year-old entrepreneur, already regarded as the acceptable face of racy retailing, will become an even bigger household name when Mind Your Own Business, which starts filming tomorrow, hits the screen in April.’
      • ‘Gold has been described as the acceptable face of the sex industry, pandering to the demands of British women who are apparently showing, as she describes it, a new spirit of ‘adventurism’.’
      • ‘If this is the acceptable face of chain restaurants then I am all for it.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, from late Latin acceptabilis, from acceptare (see accept).