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

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 Gabrielle Union as a desperate mother hellbent on saving her two children being held in an impregnable home. Kevin Crust,, "L.A. movie openings, May 11," 6 May 2018 And yet everywhere there is impregnable defiance—and aspiration. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Deana Lawson’s Kingdom of Restored Glory," 8 Jan. 2018 Matt Murray was impregnable in the first contest, but the Flyers broke down his defenses often in the second one. Tim Hackett,, "Stanley Cup Playoffs Roundup: Flyers Rebound, Jets Soar, Haula a Hero," 14 Apr. 2018

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

26 Jun 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 period when something is suspended

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