Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


adjective im·mac·u·late \i-ˈma-kyə-lət\

Simple Definition of immaculate

  • : perfectly clean

  • : having no flaw or error

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of immaculate

  1. 1 :  having no stain or blemish :  pure

  2. 2 :  containing no flaw or error

  3. 3 a :  spotlessly clean b :  having no colored spots or marks <petals immaculate>

immaculately adverb

Examples of immaculate in a sentence

  1. … they seemed as remote from metaphysics as their lunch bags and knapsacks. Yet weren't they all heading for those immaculate country snowfields to talk of God? —Cynthia Ozick, Atlantic, May 1997

  2. … and added to this was the fact that this Soviet Army Colonel had a service record that was as immaculate as a field of freshly fallen snow … —Tom Clancy, The Cardinal of the Kremlin, (1988) 1989

  3. I was expecting some giant to emerge, but in came a tiny, immaculate, white-haired man. —Anna Russell, I'm Not Making This Up, You Know, 1985

  4. She had an immaculate record of service.

  5. <somehow managed to keep the white carpet immaculate>

Did You Know?

The opposite of immaculate is maculate, which means "marked with spots" or "impure." The Latin word maculatus, the past participle of a verb meaning "to stain," is the source of both words and can be traced back to macula, a word that scientists still use for spots on the skin, on the wings of insects, and on the surface of celestial objects. Maculate has not marked as many pages as immaculate, but it has appeared occasionally (one might say "spottily"), especially as an antithesis to immaculate. We find the pair, for example, in an article by Peter Schjeldahl in an April 2004 issue of The New Yorker: "Rob's apartment, with its immaculate ranks of album spines and its all too maculate strewing of everything else…."

Origin of immaculate

Middle English immaculat, from Latin immaculatus, from in- + maculatus stained — more at maculate

First Known Use: 15th century

IMMACULATE Defined for Kids


adjective im·mac·u·late \i-ˈma-kyə-lət\

Definition of immaculate for Students

  1. 1 :  perfectly clean

  2. 2 :  having no flaw or error <He has an immaculate record.>

immaculately adverb

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up immaculate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to manage or play awkwardly

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

soothe disapprove perplex reduce
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.