im·​preg·​na·​ble | \ im-ˈpreg-nə-bəl How to pronounce impregnable (audio) \

Definition of impregnable

1 : incapable of being taken by assault : unconquerable an impregnable fortress
2 : unassailable also : impenetrable impregnable walls

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Other Words from impregnable

impregnability \ (ˌ)im-​ˌpreg-​nə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce impregnability (audio) \ noun
impregnableness \ im-​ˈpreg-​nə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce impregnableness (audio) \ noun
impregnably \ -​blē How to pronounce impregnably (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

Since the days when the Norman French ruled England, English-speakers have been captured by the allure of French terms. Impregnable is one of the many English words that bear a French ancestry. It derives from the Middle French verb prendre, which means "to take or capture." Combining prendre with various prefixes has given our language many other words, too, including surprise, reprise and enterprise.

Examples of impregnable in a Sentence

an impregnable fortress that had foiled one invader after another over the centuries the castle's supposedly impregnable walls

Recent Examples on the Web

After the revelations of abuse and rape, the most frightening thing the Epstein connections show is the impregnable, hermetic way class and power work in America. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Jeffrey Epstein and the Power of Networks," 27 Aug. 2019 No system is impregnable, but North Korea’s new missiles appear designed to find one of the biggest gaps in Seoul’s armor. Simon Denyer, Washington Post, "Fast, low and hard to stop: North Korea’s missile tests crank up the threat level," 15 Aug. 2019 Ditto for the fact that the party’s onetime impregnable stronghold, Orange County, now has majority Democratic voter registration. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Right-wingers again demonize the tiny delta smelt to protect Big Agriculture," 12 Aug. 2019 Here was a real-life case true to her lived experience then that was impregnable to an editor’s incredulity or red pen. Stephen Phillips,, "This Southern murder trial inspired Harper Lee's 'lost' book. 'Furious Hours' reexamines it," 14 June 2019 Many of Europe’s top universities now offer courses entirely in English—a direct assault on a sector where the U.K. has long been pre-eminent and has often appeared impregnable. Simon Nixon, WSJ, "Why Europe’s English-Language Boom Is a Bust for the U.K.," 18 July 2018 Despite the assurances of pundits and pollsters that Wisconsin, which had not gone for a Republican presidential candidate since 1984, was part of Clinton’s impregnable blue wall, Donald Trump carried the state. Glenn C. Altschuler,, "'Fall of Wisconsin': Why Dems lose, and keep on losing," 13 July 2018 Even as the Zoo Tower remained impregnable, the Soviets were able to fly their flag over the Reichstag. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Fearsome Nazi Tower That Held Off the Allies in Berlin," 11 June 2018 Following the occupation of Angkor by the Chams from 1177 to 1181, the new king decided to build an impregnable fortress at the heart of his empire. Antonia Neubauer, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Asia," 5 Oct. 2016

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for impregnable

Middle English imprenable, from Middle French, from in- + prenable vulnerable to capture, from prendre to take — more at prize

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Statistics for impregnable

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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The first known use of impregnable was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for impregnable



English Language Learners Definition of impregnable

: not able to be captured by attack : very strong
: not likely to be weakened or changed


im·​preg·​na·​ble | \ im-ˈpreg-nə-bəl How to pronounce impregnable (audio) \

Kids Definition of impregnable

: not able to be captured by attack : unconquerable

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Comments on impregnable

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


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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