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

Keep scrolling for more

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 And making it all the more upsetting was Chauvin's impassive facial expressions and body language throughout. Eric Levenson, CNN, 22 Apr. 2021 While all bodies are political, some feel that fact with greater force at the end of a stranger's fist or under the impassive scrutiny of medical institutions. Elizabeth Hoover Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 16 Apr. 2021 Images from bystander video of Chauvin pinning Floyd to the pavement, his face impassive, have been played nearly every day at trial and are likely seared into the minds of many jurors. Michael Tarm, Star Tribune, 13 Apr. 2021 The splendid Chardin is the kind of first-tier painting that firmly established the symbolic soap bubble that Baker’s impassive American painting later relied on, albeit with far less inventive skill. Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2021 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, 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, 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, 22 Oct. 2020 But their voices were flat, their faces largely impassive. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 17 Oct. 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.

See More

First Known Use of impassive

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 2c

Keep scrolling for more

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

Statistics for impassive

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impassive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on impassive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impassive

Nglish: Translation of impassive for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!