in·​eluc·​ta·​ble | \ ˌi-ni-ˈlək-tə-bəl How to pronounce ineluctable (audio) \

Definition of ineluctable

: not to be avoided, changed, or resisted : inevitable an ineluctable fate

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Other Words from ineluctable

ineluctability \ ˌi-​ni-​ˌlək-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce ineluctability (audio) \ noun
ineluctably \ ˌi-​ni-​ˈlək-​tə-​blē How to pronounce ineluctably (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

Like drama, wrestling was popular in ancient Greece and Rome. "Wrestler," in Latin, is "luctator," and "to wrestle" is "luctari." "Luctari" also has extended senses - "to struggle," "to strive," or "to contend." "Eluctari" joined "e-" ("ex-") with "luctari," forming a verb meaning "to struggle clear of." "Ineluctabilis" brought in the negative prefix in- to form an adjective describing something that cannot be escaped or avoided. English speakers borrowed the word as "ineluctable" around 1623. Another word that has its roots in "luctari" is "reluctant." Reluctari means "to struggle against" - and someone who is "reluctant" resists or holds back.

Examples of ineluctable in a Sentence

the ineluctable approach of winter had many worried about the cost of heating their homes
Recent Examples on the Web Dershowitz, like Trump, also has an ineluctable power to draw media attention. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Alan Dershowitz Hasn’t Changed One Bit," 22 Jan. 2020 But the second assertion, Weil’s drip drip of the instants, seems ineluctable. Christian Wiman, Harper's magazine, "The Cancer Chair," 20 Jan. 2020 In its prickliness and insistence on the messiness and ineluctable pain of life, this is very different from the pandering, gold-grubbing titles that tend to hit theaters starting around now. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Around the Movie World in 17 Days at the New York Film Festival," 26 Sep. 2019 There is little doubt that our intelligence and our experiences are ineluctable consequences of the natural causal powers of our brain, rather than any supernatural ones. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "Will Machines Ever Become Conscious?," 1 Dec. 2019 For everything that has a beginning has an end, an ineluctable consequence of the second law of thermodynamics. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "Is Death Reversible?," 11 Oct. 2019 Still, one visual element of this erratic opening night had ineluctable power. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "The opening night of Campaign 2020 kind of laid an egg," 27 June 2019 One hundred–plus years of wildland fire suppression and an ever hotter planet make this an ineluctable truth in the American West. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, "Wildfire Smoke Is Here to Stay," 5 June 2019 Democracies are also prone to disorder and corruption, but these are ineluctable features of any political system comprised of selfish and flawed human beings. Sean Illing, Vox, "Intellectuals have said democracy is failing for a century. They were wrong.," 20 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ineluctable.' 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 ineluctable

circa 1623, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ineluctable

Latin ineluctabilis, from in- + eluctari to struggle clear of, from ex- + luctari to struggle, wrestle; akin to Latin luxus dislocated — more at lock

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Time Traveler for ineluctable

Time Traveler

The first known use of ineluctable was circa 1623

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Last Updated

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ineluctable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce ineluctable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ineluctable

formal : not able to be avoided or changed

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