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 Either way, and still, all the way home, the tall man's image stands before me, ineluctable. Star Tribune, "Excerpt from Claudia Rankine's 'Just Us: A Conversation'," 17 Sep. 2020 The natural world is a cosmic, living Jenga tower, and Leopold understood the ineluctable forces that push against balance. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, "Getting Lost in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness," 2 June 2020 Evil, for this frightened little Jewish boy, was as ineluctable as sunshine. Mark Horowitz, New York Times, "My Sister, My Daughter: Behind the Scenes of a Great American Film," 12 Feb. 2020 No matter what the Sox try with Sale, his track record indicates an in-season IL stint is ineluctable. Globe Staff,, "Chaim Bloom’s opening conundrum: How to get Red Sox enough starters," 2 Mar. 2020 Such astounding gains came from the ineluctable strangeness of software and new kinds of silicon logic. Mark P. Mills, National Review, "Innovation and ‘New Energy’," 5 Mar. 2020 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

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

24 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ineluctable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 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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