Definition of navigable in US English:



  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 trust's ultimate aim is to restore the canal, as a continuous navigable waterway.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With its action, the state's highest court has potentially granted exclusive fishing rights to anyone owning land traversed by a recognized navigable waterway.’
    • ‘Trapped, they chose to paddle three miles down the coast to Waimea, where they hoped the deep-water bay would provide a navigable channel.’
    • ‘The mountainous topography and the lack of navigable waterways were an almost insuperable obstacle to the movement of passengers and freight.’
    • ‘Should there be an issue we will of course make whatever engineering adjustments are necessary in order to preserve the navigable channel.’
    • ‘These are the two main navigable waterways leading to ports in Iraq.’
    • ‘Ice buoys in the U.S. are found in navigable waterways prone to freezing.’
    • ‘And despite it being a navigable waterway, in the whole day we saw about eight boats.’
    • ‘France alone has almost 4,200 miles of navigable waterways.’
    • ‘Europe is famous for having so many miles of navigable waterways, so the Viking ships could and did travel far inland.’
    • ‘Its aim is to manage, maintain, develop and restore the inland navigable waterways in Ireland.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Atlantic facade offers warm, mostly navigable seas, a complex, mineral-rich geology, and spectacular biodiversity.’
    • ‘With thousands of miles of navigable waterways, the state leads the nation in waterborne cargo, handling some 500 million tons a year.’
    • ‘Nigerians rarely transported locally brewed alcohol outside the area of production except where navigable waterways allowed.’
    • ‘Such commerce on the national scale was made possible by China's system of navigable waterways, partly natural and partly man-made.’
    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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The tarmac then gives way to a stony track which is navigable by most pushchairs, assisted wheelchair users and powerchairs.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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 road is rough but easily navigable in most hire cars (a 4WD jeep might prove more comfortable).’
      • ‘Storefronts are empty, the restaurants quiet, the streets-where you once had to fight your way through crowds-are now easily navigable.’
      • ‘The streets are ordered and navigable, but not to the point of becoming mundane.’
  • 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’
    • ‘Many of our informants emphasized how important it is to have an easily navigable Web site.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Collaborative Virtual Environments are systems that transform computer networks into navigable and populated 3D spaces.’
    • ‘On the other hand, screens on a Web site could be intuitive and navigable by anyone.’
    • ‘The short films, no longer an endangered species, are archived on an easily navigable Web site.’
    • ‘It's only navigable with the mouse and, even then, you're only able to close it.’
    • ‘And they kept the website looking sharp and easily navigable.’
    • ‘They provide a navigable foundation enabling the logical, intuitive access of data.’
    • ‘The navigable scenes were then saved to a CD that is now stored at the county courthouse.’
    • ‘The easily navigable Website organizes its archive into four parts, running chronologically from pre-publication to response.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


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