Meaning of “eligible” in the English Dictionary

"eligible" in British English

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uk /ˈel.ɪ.dʒə.bəl/ us /ˈel.ə.dʒə.bəl/

C1 having the necessary qualities or satisfying the necessary conditions:

Are you eligible for early retirement/maternity leave?
You might be eligible for a grant.
Only people over 18 are eligible to vote.

An eligible person is not married and is thought to be a suitable future marriage partner, especially because they are rich and attractive:

I can think of several eligible bachelors of my acquaintance.

More examples

  • She hopes to be eligible for parole in 3 years.
  • Is he eligible for a pension?
  • A model prisoner, he became eligible for release after serving half his sentence.
  • Is she eligible to enter the competition?
  • Kernaghan is eligible to play for Eire.
uk /ˌel.ɪ.dʒəˈbɪl.ə.ti/ us /ˌel.ə.dʒəˈbɪl.ə.t̬i/

I'll have to check her eligibility to take part.
The eligibility rules prevent under-18s being in the team.

(Definition of “eligible” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"eligible" in American English

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us /ˈel·ɪ·dʒə·bəl/

having the necessary qualities or fulfilling the necessary conditions:

an eligible voter
You have to be employed six months to be eligible for medical benefits.

If you refer to a man or a woman as eligible, you mean the man or woman is not married and is desirable as a marriage partner:

The magazine listed 50 of the world’s most eligible bachelors.
noun [ U ] us /ˌel·ə·dʒəˈbɪl·ət̬·i/

(Definition of “eligible” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"eligible" in Business English

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uk /ˈelɪdʒəbl/ us

allowed to do or receive something because you satisfy certain conditions:

eligible citizens/customers/employees The company will offer its 104,000 eligible employees a stock option scheme this year.
eligible to do sth Nearly two-thirds of the company's current employees will be eligible to retire within five years.
Of 9,475 students, 1,323 were eligible for a scholarship.

(Definition of “eligible” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)