Word of the Day : August 27, 2021
What It Means
Amenable means “willing to agree to or accept something that is wanted or asked for.”
// The team leader was amenable to any reasonable suggestion.
// My boss asked if I would be amenable to working overtime.
“Our arboreal past left us forever craving the dangling fruits of the forest, a supreme source of high-calorie sugars that ensured survival. … But humans were just as amenable to dining on the bulbs, rhizomes and tubers of the savanna, especially once fire came along.” — Bret Stetka, NPR.org, 18 June 2021
Did you know?
Nowadays, amenable is often used to describe someone who is favorably disposed to something, but it ultimately comes from Latin minari, meaning “to threaten.” Since the 16th century, English speakers have been using it in courtrooms and law with the meaning “answerable,” as in “citizens amenable to the law.” It later developed the meanings “suited” (“a simple function … which is perfectly amenable to pencil-and-paper arithmetic”—Nature, April 1973) and “responsive” (as in “illnesses that are amenable to drug therapy”). It also came to be used of people with a general disposition to be agreeable—like Mr. Dick in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, who was “the most friendly and amenable creature in existence.”