1. Qualified or entitled to be chosen: eligible to run for office; eligible for retirement.
2. Desirable and worthy of choice, especially for marriage: an eligible bachelor.
3. Football Allowed under the rules to catch a forward pass.
A person who is eligible.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin ēligibilis, from Latin ēligere, to select; see ELECT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.