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

But that fish- eye lens just stared back at her, impassive, unblinking. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "A starfighter pilot awakens in an unwelcome future in this excerpt from Velocity Weapon," 11 June 2019 The defendant, wearing a maroon sweater with dark brown elbow patches, was impassive as the verdict was read. Colin Moynihan, New York Times, "Nxivm’s Keith Raniere Convicted in Trial Exposing Sex Cult’s Inner Workings," 19 June 2019 The authorities who bullied them were at once almost generic types—the strict teacher, the unbending parent, the relentless suitor, the impassive judge—and mordant portraits of the sorts of figures on whom power settled in Kiarostami’s Iran. Max Nelson, Harper's magazine, "The All-Seeing Eye," 10 June 2019 By The man who was and then wasn’t and now is the Kansas City Chiefs linebackers coach stood outside the practice field on a sunny afternoon last week, impassive and rather expressionless in his first meeting with local media. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "Chiefs’ new assistant coach brings ‘fiery, energetic’ style to revamped defense," 4 June 2019 Where de Meuron is subdued, contemplative, almost impassive, Herzog is frank and energetic. Ian Volner, WSJ, "Swiss Architecture Firm Herzog & De Meuron Celebrates 40 Years," 4 Nov. 2018 In the executive boxes, even Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, ordinarily so impassive, twitched the corners of his mouth in what could, just about, be recognized as a smile. Rory Smith, New York Times, "For Russia, Five Goals and One Big Sigh of Relief," 14 June 2018 Winslow, 34, remained impassive during the court proceeding and has been held in custody since his recent arrest. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Kellen Winslow Jr. faces multiple rape, kidnapping charges, bail set at $2 million," 12 July 2018 Henri van Breda appeared impassive as a judge sentenced him to three life sentences for the grisly killings of parents Martin and Teresa and brother Rudi in Stellenbosch, a scenic town in a wine-growing area near Cape Town. Washington Post, "South African gets life in prison for ax murders of family," 7 June 2018

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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Statistics for impassive

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for impassive

The first known use of impassive was in 1605

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More Definitions for impassive



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

What made you want to look up impassive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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