incorrigible

adjective
in·cor·ri·gi·ble | \ (ˌ)in-ˈkȯr-ə-jə-bəl , -ˈkär- \

Definition of incorrigible 

: incapable of being corrected or amended: such as

a(1) : not reformable : depraved

(2) : delinquent

b : not manageable : unruly

c : unalterable, inveterate

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Other words from incorrigible

incorrigibility \(ˌ)in-ˌkȯr-ə-jə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -ˌkär- \ noun
incorrigible noun
incorrigibleness \(ˌ)in-ˈkȯr-ə-jə-bəl-nəs, -ˈkär- \ noun
incorrigibly \(ˌ)in-ˈkȯr-ə-jə-blē, -ˈkär- \ adverb

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.

Examples of incorrigible in a Sentence

The incorrigible maleness of men is a standing rebuke to the Rousseau-inspired notions of human moral plasticity that are central to liberalism. —Richard Lowry, National Review, 3 July 2000 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 Heritage, May/June 1994 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 Friedman, Vegetarian Times, October 1993 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 Gould, New York Times Book Review, 7 May 1989 an incorrigible habit of playing practical jokes He is always the class clown and his teachers say he is incorrigible.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Neymar is an incorrigible extrovert, a fashion icon and a marketing phenomenon. Rory Smith, New York Times, "All Eyes Are on Neymar, but It’s Coutinho Who Is Leading Brazil," 28 June 2018 The devilish old codger and said father, Jack (Christopher Plummer), recently ousted from his nursing home for incorrigible weed-dealing. Shana Feste, New York Times, "Review: A Father and Daughter Renegotiate ‘Boundaries’," 21 June 2018 In his bicorn hat with tassels suggesting the fluffy ears of an incorrigible dog, James Whiteside’s Harlequin took charge of his character with irrepressible energy and unbounded confidence. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "‘Harlequinade’ Review: Humor and History Take Center Stage," 6 June 2018 There are those in Paris who will tell you—without any irony whatsoever—that the story of Pierre Bergé is the story of France in the second half of the 20th century: often incorrigible, sometimes truculent, always ascendant. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "Was Pierre Bergé the Most Powerful Man In France?," 8 Sep. 2017 There are those in Paris who will tell you—without any irony whatsoever—that the story of Pierre Bergé is the story of France in the second half of the 20th century: often incorrigible, sometimes truculent, always ascendant. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "Was Pierre Bergé the Most Powerful Man In France?," 8 Sep. 2017 Alexander McQueen, fashion’s incorrigible enfant terrible, presented his Dante collection in London at Christ Church Spitalfields; its encore in New York was at the Angel Orensanz Center, a former synagogue. Vogue, "Take Me to Church: 21 Times Designers Put on Shows in Holy Places," 24 Apr. 2018 There are those in Paris who will tell you—without any irony whatsoever—that the story of Pierre Bergé is the story of France in the second half of the 20th century: often incorrigible, sometimes truculent, always ascendant. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "Was Pierre Bergé the Most Powerful Man In France?," 8 Sep. 2017 The dog, an incorrigible fence-jumper, was hanging by his red leash over the fence. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Neighbor shot man in the head, cops say. Fiancee says it’s for disciplining their dog | The Sacramento Bee," 29 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of incorrigible

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for incorrigible

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

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Last Updated

21 Aug 2018

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The first known use of incorrigible was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for incorrigible

incorrigible

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of incorrigible

: not able to be corrected or changed

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More from Merriam-Webster on incorrigible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for incorrigible

Spanish Central: Translation of incorrigible

Nglish: Translation of incorrigible for Spanish Speakers

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