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.
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.