im·​pen·​e·​tra·​bil·​i·​ty (ˌ)im-ˌpe-nə-trə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce impenetrability (audio)
: the quality or state of being impenetrable
: the inability of two portions of matter to occupy the same space at the same time

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 Scott blends Damon’s close-to-the-bone fragility and Alain Delon’s simmering impenetrability in making this uncertain Tom Ripley his own. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Apr. 2024 But for real impenetrability from rain or snow, Gore-Tex or a membrane coated with durable water repellent (DWR) serve as the ultimate barrier. Michael Stefanov, Robb Report, 17 Jan. 2024 The impenetrability of the NBA bubble appeared to provide a foolproof solution to the stops and starts (due to the coronavirus pandemic) that had shortened Major League Baseball’s season and forced several major college-football conferences to cancel their season. Michael Weinreb, The Atlantic, 27 Aug. 2020 During a carefree conversation between his character Daniel, recently released from prison, and Daniel’s best friend Fonny (Stephan James), Henry dissolves a loud and jolly exterior into a quiet impenetrability when the pair discuss the horrors of jail. Nate Jones, Vulture, 21 Nov. 2020 Russell considers how Cruise’s longevity — the sheer volume of years he’s spent as Hollywood’s most successful weirdo — has given him a degree of impenetrability. Chloe Walker, Longreads, 1 July 2022 Multiple civilizations of Indigenous people have called the canyon home thanks to its abundance of water, fertile soils, and fortress-like impenetrability from intruders. Dr. Len Necefer, Outside Online, 13 Dec. 2022 So the impenetrability of legal texts is due to psycholinguistic factors. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 15 Sep. 2022 One begins to think in terms of doors, hatches, coffers and windows, and yet there is often a sense of impenetrability, as if the walls suggest the possibility of passage yet limit egress. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 27 May 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impenetrability.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1653, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of impenetrability was in 1653

Dictionary Entries Near impenetrability

Cite this Entry

“Impenetrability.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

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