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

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Other Words from impassive

impassively adverb
impassiveness noun
impassivity \ ˌim-​ˌpa-​ˈsi-​və-​tē How to pronounce impassivity (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 And his face, though long and carved, is anything but impassive. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Art of the Awkward Silence in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”," 15 Nov. 2019 His voice was deep if slightly harried, and his face impassive. The Economist, "Inside Aspen: the mountain retreat for the liberal elite," 11 Oct. 2019 Thunberg, though hardly impassive, has made a point of focusing on the science and being prepared with the facts. Washington Post, "‘Greta’: A young activist’s moment, praised and criticized," 25 Sep. 2019 Duckenfield sat, impassive, in front of the dock with his hands clasped and then drank from a glass of water as the foreman of the jury delivered the verdict. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "UK jury clears former police officer in 1989 Hillsborough soccer stadium disaster," 29 Nov. 2019 Thunberg, though hardly impassive, has made a point of focusing on the science and being prepared with the facts. Ted Anthony, Fortune, "Greta Thunberg: A Young Activist’s Moment, Praised and Criticized," 24 Sep. 2019 The whole empire of signs is reduced to a greater-than symbol, the mouth of an impassive alligator eating someone’s lunch. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "The Trash-Talk Pyrotechnics of the “Succession” Finale," 14 Oct. 2019 The strip spins out the joke: to illustrate to Linus the distance between two locations (the absurd pairing of Texas and Singapore), Lucy plots the points over the top of Charlie Brown’s bare, impassive pate. Nicole Rudick, The New Yorker, "How “Peanuts” Created a Space for Thinking," 6 Aug. 2019 Her latest star is even more impassive—an aluminum tear gas grenade—but seen amid surreal pulsating color. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Using AI, and Film, to Track Tear Gas Use Against Civilians," 25 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of impassive

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 2c

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Time Traveler for impassive

Time Traveler

The first known use of impassive was in 1605

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Statistics for impassive

Last Updated

23 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Impassive.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for impassive


How to pronounce impassive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of impassive

: not showing emotion


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on impassive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impassive

Spanish Central: Translation of impassive

Nglish: Translation of impassive for Spanish Speakers

Comments on impassive

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a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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