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 ineluctable (audio) \ noun
ineluctably \ ˌi-​ni-​ˈlək-​tə-​blē How to pronounce ineluctable (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 At a time when character appears increasingly to have been subsumed by the ineluctable forces of political science—asymmetrical polarisation, negative partisanship and the rest—Mr Manchin is a refreshing anomaly. The Economist, "Lexington Joe Manchin, the wild man of the mountains," 13 Mar. 2021 An increasingly urbanized, empowered, and active populace is one of the ineluctable mega trends of the 21st century. Paul Salem, Time, "Why the Arab Spring Failed—And Why It May Yet Succeed," 6 Jan. 2021 In a context such as this, secularization becomes ineluctable. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "Why American Children Stopped Believing in God," 13 Dec. 2020 As the infection, inherited from his mother, takes its ineluctable course, de Lairesse (1641-1711) will eventually go blind. Washington Post, "Rembrandt’s own mortality — seen in another artist’s face," 2 Dec. 2020 Supporters of the latter tradition, with its focus on the public interest (the res publica), argue that voting is an ineluctable duty of citizenship as well as an absolute right. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "Yes, You Have a Duty to Vote," 22 Oct. 2020 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

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

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The first known use of ineluctable was circa 1623

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Last Updated

17 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ineluctable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of ineluctable

formal : not able to be avoided or changed

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