adjective in·cor·ri·gi·ble \ (ˌ)in-ˈkȯr-ə-jə-bəl , -ˈkär- \
|Updated on: 9 Jul 2018

Definition of incorrigible

: incapable of being corrected or amended: such as
a (1) : not reformable : depraved
(2) : delinquent
b : not manageable : unruly


play \(ˌ)in-ˌkȯr-ə-jə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -ˌkär-\ noun




play \(ˌ)in-ˈkȯr-ə-jə-bəl-nəs, -ˈkär-\ noun


play \(ˌ)in-ˈkȯr-ə-jə-blē, -ˈkär-\ adverb

incorrigible was our Word of the Day on 06/09/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of incorrigible in a Sentence

  1. The incorrigible maleness of men is a standing rebuke to the Rousseau-inspired notions of human moral plasticity that are central to liberalism. —Richard LowryNational Review3 July 2000
  2. At the heart of Roosevelt's style in foreign affairs was a certain incorrigible amateurism. His off-the-cuff improvisations, his airy tendency to throw out half-baked ideas, caused others to underrate his continuity of purpose … —Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.American HeritageMay/June 1994
  3. Eating fugu … is an exotic custom that probably would appeal to every incorrigible mountain climber, skydiver and bungee-jumper in America. Why? The fugu is poisonous—and there's no antidote. —Max FriedmanVegetarian TimesOctober 1993
  4. Yes, this is a book about America … all seen through the fairy-book life of an incorrigible kid, abandoned by his parents and brought up in a reformatory … —Stephen Jay GouldNew York Times Book Review7 May 1989
  5. an incorrigible habit of playing practical jokes

  6. He is always the class clown and his teachers say he is incorrigible.

Recent Examples of incorrigible from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incorrigible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

If incorrigible Is a Word, Is Corrigible a Word?

Incorrigible has been part of English since the 14th century. Back then, it was used to describe people who were morally depraved, but now it is most often applied to people who merely have bad habits. Is there a "corrigible?" Yes, indeed, we've used "corrigible" in the sense of "capable of being set right; reparable" (as in "a corrigible defect" and "a corrigible sinner") since the 15th century. Both words are from Latin corrigere, which means "to correct" and which is also the source of our word correct.

Origin and Etymology of incorrigible

Middle English, from Late Latin incorrigibilis, from Latin in- + corrigere to correct — more at correct

INCORRIGIBLE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of incorrigible for English Language Learners

  • : not able to be corrected or changed

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


to hasten

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism

  • test-your-emoji-exceptionalism-written-with-a-lot-of-emoji
  • What is this emoji intended to represent: 🤳
True or False

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

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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