from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Sufficiently deep or wide to provide passage for vessels: navigable waters; a navigable river.
  • adj. That can be steered. Used of boats, ships, or aircraft.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. : capable of being navigated; deep enough and wide enough to afford passage to vessels.
  • adj. : seaworthy; in a navigable state; steerable.
  • adj. : steerable, dirigible
  • adj. Easy to navigate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Capable of being navigated; deep enough and wide enough to afford passage to vessels.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Capable of being navigated; affording passage to ships: as, a navigable river.
  • Subject to a public right of water-passage for persons or property.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. able to be sailed on or through safely


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In Michigan, you the sportsperson have the right to fish in navigable streams, up to this ordinary high water mark.

    On Stream Rights In Utah

  • You can't use the calendar to pinpoint smallmouth whereabouts in navigable rivers, but it does help to know that their location follows a general pattern.

    Rivers of Bronze

  • The word navigable is so vague that it requires some definition before we can apply it to any particular stream.

    The Historic Thames

  • With more serious fare and fewer glitzy stars, that means even the streets are a tad more navigable, which is nice.

    Michael Giltz: Cannes 2010 Day Four and Five: Mike Leigh's New Gem and Inside Job Rocks The Fest

  • Earlier this month, the LA River was declared "navigable" by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and thus subject to the Clean Water Act Protections for the first time.

    Hidden LA River Tour With Jenny Price

  • The Supreme Court, with Bush administration backing, held that only "navigable" waterways could enjoy protections of this law.

    Trip Van Noppen: Clean Water Restoration Act Provides Hope

  • The current of the Crati is more spasmodic and destructive than in classical times when the river was "navigable"; and to one of its inundations may be due this legend of the deluge; to the same one, maybe, that affected the courses of this river and the Coscile, mingling their waters which used to flow separately into the Ionian.

    Old Calabria

  • St. Rhémy, for the road (which broadened there, and became "navigable" for motor cars as well as horse-drawn vehicles), wound down still among stupendous mountains capped with snow, jagged peaks of dark granite, and purple porphyry which glowed crimson in contrast with the dazzling snow.

    The Princess Passes

  • Colorado has no "navigable" rivers under English common law, said John Hill, a lawyer for the Gunnison property owner who banned rafting companies on the Taylor River.

  • This bill would remove the word "navigable" from the Clean Water Act of 1972, expanding the federal government's jurisdiction from only navigable waters to all water in the United States.

    The Washington Times stories: Latest Headlines


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