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 shows like The Lone Ranger and Gunsmoke, Indians were stoic, comically impassive, sphynxlike. David Treuer, The Atlantic, 1 Aug. 2022 This makes for a series of pratfalls and obscenities, with the impassive Patrick just kind of standing there, seemingly bemused. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2022 The faces in the crowd appear impassive despite the fact that God’s living mouthpiece will soon address them. Cassady Rosenblum, Rolling Stone, 28 June 2022 Which is why, at Al Wathba, visitors are now being kept some distance from the dunes, although still close enough to appreciate their impassive beauty. Barry Neild, CNN, 23 June 2022 Far from an impassive observer, Parks wanted his photographs to convey meaning and help improve the lives of his subjects, many of whom were discriminated against because of their race. Chadd Scott, Forbes, 8 June 2022 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 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

Learn More About impassive

Time Traveler for impassive

Time Traveler

The first known use of impassive was in 1605

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near impassive




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for impassive

Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Impassive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!