immaculate

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

Definition of immaculate

  1. 1 :  having no stain or blemish :  pure an immaculate heart

  2. 2 :  having or containing no flaw or error an immaculate record of service in immaculate detail

  3. 3a :  spotlessly clean an immaculate kitchen immaculate uniformsb :  having no colored spots or marks —used especially in botany and zoology petals immaculate

immaculately

adverb

immaculate was our Word of the Day on 09/02/2015. Hear the podcast!

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 and Etymology of immaculate

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


First Known Use: 15th century


IMMACULATE Defined for English Language Learners

immaculate

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

Definition of immaculate for English Language Learners

  • : perfectly clean

  • : having no flaw or error


IMMACULATE Defined for Kids

immaculate

play
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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a frightening dream

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • manet-jeanne-spring
  • Which is a synonym of chaffer?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!