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 2000At 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 1994Eating 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 1993Yes, 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.
Recent Examples on the WebReading Sebald in a German context, and knowing his criticism as well as his fiction, yields a different picture: that of an incorrigible provocateur who never let the facts get in the way of a good anti-German polemic.
Harper’s Magazine , 18 Jan. 2022 Soon after, the incorrigible Cole Porter took the naughty song to new heights (or depths).
Gregg Opelka, WSJ, 20 Dec. 2021 Seven girls from Ballet Academy East will appear in the production, as well as six boys from the Ailey school and Ballet Tech, including the two boys alternating as Fritz, Marie’s adorable, incorrigible younger brother.
New York Times, 24 Nov. 2021 Mercado, 32, of Woodridge, operated D and D Kennel on the outskirts of West Chicago and earned a reputation for being able to turn incorrigible animals into adoptable pets.
John Keilman, chicagotribune.com, 10 Nov. 2021 Mercado, 32, operated D and D Kennel on the outskirts of West Chicago and earned a reputation for being able to turn incorrigible animals into adoptable pets, rarely turning down requests from rescue organizations.
John Keilman, chicagotribune.com, 2 Oct. 2021 One stalks about the room like a criminal imprisoned, unregenerate, incorrigible.
Patricia Highsmith, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 The court ruled that judges need not find juvenile offenders permanently incorrigible before sentencing them to life without parole.
Brian Mcgill, WSJ, 23 June 2021 The court ruled that judges need not find juvenile offenders permanently incorrigible before sentencing them to life without parole.
Brian Mcgill, WSJ, 23 June 2021
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.