in·​ces·​sant (ˌ)in-ˈse-sᵊnt How to pronounce incessant (audio)
: continuing or following without interruption : unceasing
Choose the Right Synonym for incessant

continual, continuous, constant, incessant, perpetual, perennial mean characterized by continued occurrence or recurrence.

continual often implies a close prolonged succession or recurrence.

continual showers the whole weekend

continuous usually implies an uninterrupted flow or spatial extension.

football's oldest continuous rivalry

constant implies uniform or persistent occurrence or recurrence.

lived in constant pain

incessant implies ceaseless or uninterrupted activity.

annoyed by the incessant quarreling

perpetual suggests unfailing repetition or lasting duration.

a land of perpetual snowfall

perennial implies enduring existence often through constant renewal.

a perennial source of controversy

Examples of incessant in a Sentence

Much of the early motor development of the child depends on learning and refining such procedures, through play, imitation, trial and error, and incessant rehearsal. Oliver Sacks, New Yorker, 24 Sept. 2007
Magna Carta also stipulated that the shire courts should meet as royal courts under the itinerant justices more often than twice a year—a change, convenient to the landed classes and their incessant civil actions, that was not implemented because of the cost to the Crown. Norman F. Cantor, Imagining the Law, 1997
Whatever Stalin's ancestry, his biographers, Robert Tucker in particular, have concluded that his unfortunate childhood experiences, including incessant, murderous beatings by his drunken father, were probably what caused his pathological behaviour. Amy Knight, Times Literary Supplement, 26 Apr. 1991
the incessant noise from an outside repair crew was a real distraction during the test
Recent Examples on the Web Trump, by virtue of delays, incessant appeals and all manner of chicanery, has shown that a scofflaw can indeed prevail, escape prosecution and real accountability, deny any and all wrongdoing and still be the presidential candidate for millions of Americans. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, 3 Apr. 2024 Another one showed a man inside the auditorium, saying the assailants set it on fire, with incessant gunshots ringing out in the background. NBC News, 23 Mar. 2024 Thanks to all the artists, writers, curators, publicists and institutional leaders who collectively welcomed me to their studios, homes, offices and exhibitions, answering my questions, tolerating my incessant follow-up emails and even chewing me out at a fancy museum dinner. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2024 The operating room would often shake from the incessant bombings, sometimes as frequent as every 30 seconds. Irfan Galaria, The Mercury News, 23 Feb. 2024 After all, who can sleep to the soundtrack of incessant newborn crying? Cheryl Maguire, Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2024 The race was delayed by a day due to the incessant rain that pelted Daytona International Speedway over the weekend. Scott Fowler, Charlotte Observer, 20 Feb. 2024 The incessant buzzing of an Israeli drone fills the room. Raja Abdulrahim, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2024 The incessant gender-tracking among crossword constructors publishing in these and other outlets has been accompanied by diversity initiatives meant to mentor women constructors and foster their talents. Anna Shechtman, The New Yorker, 18 Feb. 2024

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

Word History


Middle English incessaunt, from Late Latin incessant-, incessans, from Latin in- + cessant-, cessans, present participle of cessare to delay — more at cease

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of incessant was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near incessant

Cite this Entry

“Incessant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​ces·​sant (ˈ)in-ˈses-ᵊnt How to pronounce incessant (audio)
: going on and on : not stopping or letting up
incessantly adverb

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