As I explained in my other question, I'm writing up specs for a website with learning materials for our alpha testers to comment on. Among others, I'm describing the rating system, which has multiple criteria.

I imagine that there might be criteria that only teachers (and not students) should be able to rate, while all users might be able to see the resulting ratings (the averages or whatnot).

I'd like to write something along the lines of:

"What do you suggest would be good rating criteria? Should some criteria be only ratable by teachers, but viewable by all users? If so, which ones?"

...but "ratable/rateable" sounds awkward to me, and Cambridge thinks the word has to do with taxes or insurance but not with rating things (Oxford defines it as "able to be rated or estimated", which doesn't really make it clear that it also applies to the 1-5 stars type of rating). Is this just me? If not, what would you suggest as suitable alternatives in this case?

  • I understand precisely, 100% what you mean, and I'm sure I've seen it used in the business. I'd say definitely keep the "e", for sure. Rateable. It's a rather "american" or "business-wise" construction, like sound bite or the like. Sounds great. After all, we live in the dotcom era: 100% of humans know what a "form field" is, or "email verification" or "upvote" or "scroll". Rateable - no problem.
    – Fattie
    Apr 2, 2014 at 11:30
  • I would use "be rated by" instead of rateable, example: "What do you suggest would be good rating criteria? Should some criteria be rated only by teachers, but stay visible to all users? If so, which ones?"
    – Dzienny
    Apr 2, 2014 at 11:36
  • 1
    "able to be rated or estimated" seems to fit perfectly. Perhaps "rateable" has not yet been used enough in the context of star ratings, but this doesn't exclude them as a rating method for something that is "rateable".
    – nxx
    Apr 2, 2014 at 11:55
  • Rateable (spelt like that) is fine. Apr 2, 2014 at 11:56
  • "I hope you have cats, because that cheese you left on the counter is totally ratable". Apr 2, 2014 at 12:32

1 Answer 1


The Merriam-Webster has rating-related uses for both spellings. Web use puts ratable at 480,000 immediate Google results, and rateable at 286,000. Rateable used to be a much more popular spelling (several times more than ratable), but its use has dropped off in print too:


I agree that it's an awkward word, and prefer the sound of "be rated by". They're both somewhat uncommon, and from your comment it seems like this meaning for them isn't represented in British dictionaries at all.

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