im·​pen·​e·​tra·​bil·​i·​ty | \ (ˌ)im-ˌpe-nə-trə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce impenetrability (audio) \

Definition of impenetrability

1 : the quality or state of being impenetrable
2 : the inability of two portions of matter to occupy the same space at the same time

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of impenetrability in a Sentence

the impenetrability of her prose is apparently the basis of her appeal to literary snobs
Recent Examples on the Web The difficulty in pinning the blame on machines lies in the impenetrability of the AI decision-making process, according to a paper on tort liability and AI published in the AMA Journal of Ethics last year. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "When AI in healthcare goes wrong, who is responsible?," 20 Sep. 2020 What wounds Angela is not just the lack of conversation, but her father’s willful impenetrability. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Netflix’s ‘Tigertail’ is an affecting look at a family’s unspoken stories," 10 Apr. 2020 Making the matter more difficult to assess for investors is the fluid nature of the outbreak and the impenetrability of Chinese politics. Karen Langley, WSJ, "Dow Drops Over 450 Points on Coronavirus Fears," 28 Jan. 2020 One fallout from the Duke of York’s involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal is that journalists began to probe into his personal finances which have long shrouded in a fog of pea-soup impenetrability. David Mcclure, Town & Country, "How Realistic is Financial Independence for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle?," 11 Jan. 2020 Through 11 games, Ohio State’s defense built an aura of near-impenetrability. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football storms past Michigan 56-27 to extend winning streak in The Game to eight," 30 Nov. 2019 This near-impenetrability is partly why the sprawling, glowing, street-food hub is on the rise for travelers. Adam H. Graham, Condé Nast Traveler, "Osaka Is a Food-Obsessed City Unlike Anywhere Else in Japan," 16 Nov. 2019 The arid landscapes are stunning in their vast impenetrability; the prospect of crossing them is daunting. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, "“Best of Luck with the Wall” Puts the Borderlands Back in Context," 5 Aug. 2019 But above all, Chlumsky’s aim was to create a realistic emotional portrait for a character who’s very body language channels a kind of emotional impenetrability. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Anna Chlumsky: Veep Was Never a Show About Feminism. And It Was Always a Show About Feminism.," 29 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impenetrability.' 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 impenetrability

1653, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about impenetrability

Time Traveler for impenetrability

Time Traveler

The first known use of impenetrability was in 1653

See more words from the same year

Statistics for impenetrability

Cite this Entry

“Impenetrability.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on impenetrability

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impenetrability

Comments on impenetrability

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

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


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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