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 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 Faragallah radiates a warmth that belies the weariness of a man whose life has been defined by violence and loss, while Sultani masks a tumultuous range of emotions behind an impassive effect. oregonlive, "A father-son video call yields refreshing pandemic theater: ‘This is Who I Am’ review," 14 Dec. 2020 An impassive result on the road followed by a game highlighted by effective set pieces indicated an upward trajectory in certain areas the team wanted to improve. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, "RSL just ended the most chaotic season in franchise history — but they still expected to make the playoffs.," 10 Nov. 2020 That’s a gain, and all the more so since Mrs. Danvers, the pivotal character originally played by an almost impassive Judith Anderson, is now played by the excellent Kristin Scott Thomas. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Rebecca’ Review: Off the Road to Manderley," 22 Oct. 2020 But their voices were flat, their faces largely impassive. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, "The Racial Politics of Kamala Harris’s Performance Style," 17 Oct. 2020 But Wolkoff sheds more light on the extent and depth of the enmity behind those impassive faces. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "'What a fool I was': First lady's ex-best friend tells all in revenge book 'Melania & Me'," 30 Aug. 2020 Boyle, who has been under house arrest and appeared in court with his family, remained mostly impassive as Doody read out his verdict over more than three hours. Alan Freeman, Washington Post, "Canadian court acquits ex-Taliban hostage on charges of abusing his American wife," 19 Dec. 2019 Kelly, impassive, did not pursue a deeper understanding of her position. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "Tara Reade, Megyn Kelly, and the Politics of Believability," 12 May 2020 Meanwhile, their songs sensed the coming digital era: impassive and heartless, but also seductive in its precision and possibility. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Florian Schneider’s 10 Essential Songs, in Kraftwerk and Beyond," 7 May 2020

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

26 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impassive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on impassive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impassive

Nglish: Translation of impassive for Spanish Speakers

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