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 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 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 Behind him sat Vice President Mike Pence, as mysteriously impassive as always, and the woman who stage-managed Mr. Trump’s impeachment. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "The State of Our Union Is . . . Entertaining," 5 Feb. 2020 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 Through all of the chaos, Melania’s impassive stillness has led folks on both sides of the aisle to see her as a beacon of hope. Washington Post, "Is Melania Trump sending coded messages, or are we just talking to ourselves?," 5 Dec. 2019 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

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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Last Updated

9 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impassive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 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

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