Which would be more appropriate in this case?

I currently do not have any affiliation that would be notable in the context of this election

I currently do not have any affiliation that would be noteworthy in the context of this election

Or maybe something else altogether?

  • They're pretty much the same, but a pedant might argue that notable things/people are those which have already been "noted" by many, whereas noteworthy ones might just be deserving (in the opinion of the speaker) of attention they haven't necessarily got yet. Plus the possible implication that mere notable things aren't as important as those that are actually worthy of being noted. Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 3:21
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    ...plus your example suggests you may be using the wrong words anyway. Your examples might more naturally have used notifiable (or relevant, perhaps). Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 3:23
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    I would say the distinction is mainly when referring to people, when "notable" carries more positive connotation than "noteworthy". Churchill was notable; Hitler was noteworthy; Paris Hilton is neither.
    – JeffSahol
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 3:28

2 Answers 2


According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the words are very similar and used in each other's definitions. For example, the main definition of notable is:

Worthy or deserving of attention, esp. on account of excellence, value, or importance; significant in size or amount; noteworthy, remarkable, striking, signal, eminent.

While noteworthy has the main meaning:

Worthy of attention, observation, or notice; notable, remarkable.

Note, however the bolded portion of the definition for notable--it refers to something as being noticeably and especially great, while something can be noteworthy without having excellence. That is, according to these definitions something which is notable is noteworthy for being good. Further, a person can be notable but not noteworthy.

However, in common use when talking about something (rather than someone), the two terms are used interchangeably. In your context, I would suggest different terms for different tones. You could use notable because of its connotations of importance. However, to erase possible grandeur by giving yourself this importance, you might use noteworthy.


The question is well put, unintentionally perhaps, as - notable is broader and pre-established - noteworthy in this context is exactly that; some things are noteworthy in a context when in most contexts they are, perhaps, not

Notable may, in the context, not be noteworthy, but is still (and will remain) notable

  • 2
    I haven't been this confused since "The dog the girl the boy knew saw ran away."
    – Alain
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 18:26
  • Language and Boolean algebra come close? Sorry to hear that you did not make sense of the examples (I don't mean to be rude, but try again) Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 18:39
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    -1, because answers on an English language stackexchange should generally employ a correct use of the English language.
    – Alain
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 18:55

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