im·​pas·​sive | \ (ˌ)im-ˈpa-siv How to pronounce impassive (audio) \

Definition of impassive

1 : giving no sign of feeling or emotion : expressionless
2a : unsusceptible to or destitute of emotion : apathetic
b : unsusceptible to physical feeling : insensible
c archaic : unsusceptible to pain

Other Words from impassive

impassively adverb
impassiveness noun
impassivity \ ˌim-​ˌpa-​ˈsi-​və-​tē How to pronounce impassive (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for impassive

impassive, stoic, phlegmatic, apathetic, stolid mean unresponsive to something that might normally excite interest or emotion. impassive stresses the absence of any external sign of emotion in action or facial expression. met the news with an impassive look stoic implies an apparent indifference to pleasure or especially to pain often as a matter of principle or self-discipline. was resolutely stoic even in adversity phlegmatic implies a temperament or constitution hard to arouse. a phlegmatic man unmoved by tears apathetic may imply a puzzling or deplorable indifference or inertness. charitable appeals met an apathetic response stolid implies a habitual absence of interest, responsiveness, or curiosity. stolid workers wedded to routine

Examples of impassive in a Sentence

Her face remained impassive throughout the trial. she remained impassive as the officers informed her of her son's death
Recent Examples on the Web In contrast the features of his white subjects tend be impassive and undifferentiated when they are seen at all. Roberta Smith, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2022 In many ways, Kafuku is the archetypal Murakami protagonist, a sophisticated and coolly impassive observer, one who is moved by powerful emotions despite his outward appearance of passivity. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Mar. 2022 For two hours, von Neumann listened to the scientists, his head in his hands, his face impassive. Samanth Subramanian, The New Republic, 8 Mar. 2022 Vuillard’s mother looks impassive and menacing next to her daughter, who is in a wedding dress. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, 17 Dec. 2021 German lawmakers were not alone in being seduced by this man of impassive features and implacable intent, honed as an intelligence operative. New York Times, 26 Mar. 2022 As Laura, Collette is impassive, opaque, even cold. ELLE, 11 Mar. 2022 The pulley grips the rope and starts hauling it in, flinging sea gunk in every direction, including onto Werder’s impassive face, where a cigarette still dangles from his lips. Julia Rosen, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Mar. 2022 The scene turns into an impassive collection of jokes about her appearance instead of a drama worth emotionally investing in. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 3 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impassive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of impassive

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 2c

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The first known use of impassive was in 1605

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Last Updated

1 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Impassive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for impassive


im·​pas·​sive | \ im-ˈpa-siv How to pronounce impassive (audio) \

Kids Definition of impassive

: not feeling or showing emotion an impassive face

Other Words from impassive

impassively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on impassive

Nglish: Translation of impassive for Spanish Speakers


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