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September 01, 2014

Word of the Day

  • impregnable
  • audio pronunciation
  • \im-PREG-nuh-bul\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

1 : incapable of being taken by assault : unconquerable 2 : unassailable; also : impenetrable

  • EXAMPLE

"The castle was built on the corner of a great rock, so that on three sides it was quite impregnable…." — Bram Stoker, Dracula, 1897

"He is too generous in his assessment of Lee's disastrous frontal attacks at the Battle of Malvern Hill that capped the Seven Days campaign, and his equally futile assault—now famous as Pickett's Charge—on another impregnable federal position at Gettysburg, in 1863." — Fergus M. Bordewich, The New York Times, June 29, 2014

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Since the days when the Norman French ruled England, English-speakers have been captured by the allure of French terms. Impregnable is one of the many English words that bear a French ancestry. It derives from the Middle French verb prendre, which means "to take or capture." Combining prendre with various prefixes has given our language many other words, too, including surprise, reprise and enterprise.

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