1. fit or proper to be chosen; worthy of choice; desirable: to marry an eligible bachelor.
  2. meeting the stipulated requirements, as to participate, compete, or work; qualified.
  3. legally qualified to be elected or appointed to office: eligible for the presidency.


  1. a person or thing that is eligible: Among the eligibles, only a few are running for office.


  1. fit, worthy, or qualified, as for an office or function
  2. desirable and worthy of being chosen, esp as a spousean eligible young man

1640s, see eligible + -ity.


early 15c., “fit or proper to be chosen,” from Middle French eligible “fit to be chosen” (14c.), from Late Latin eligibilis “that may be chosen,” from Latin eligere “choose” (see election). Related: Eligibly.

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