inevitable

adjective
in·​ev·​i·​ta·​ble | \ i-ˈne-və-tə-bəl How to pronounce inevitable (audio) \

Definition of inevitable

: incapable of being avoided or evaded an inevitable outcome

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Other Words from inevitable

inevitability \ i-​ˌne-​və-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce inevitability (audio) \ noun
inevitableness \ i-​ˈne-​və-​tə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce inevitableness (audio) \ noun

Absolutely Inevitable (Or Not)

Inevitable can occasionally be found used as a noun (“the inevitable had come to pass”), but more frequently it is encountered as an adjective. Some, in fact, would classify this word not only as an adjective, but as a special kind: the absolute adjective. Absolute adjectives permit little or no variation, and cannot (in the view of some) be used in the comparative or superlative form. For instance, a person may be dead or not, but cannot be the deadest among other dead people. This neat classification seems logical enough, yet it does not apply in all situations. After all, we often speak of things as dead in a non-biological sense; can a ball that is dead (not fully inflated) be deader than another ball? Of course it can. Similar attempts to impose the "absolute" label have been made in the case of inevitable. Some consider it improper to modify the word, arguing that “almost inevitable” is illogical. Yet these two words have been successfully paired together since at least 1576, when Abraham Flemming, in a translation of Cicero, wrote, “in what snares (almost ineuitable) of vnluckinesse we be intangled.”

Examples of inevitable in a Sentence

The captain of archers fidgeted and coughed and rolled his eyes at his men, as if such cupidity and dishonor were an inevitable but minor aspect of the human predicament … — Michael Chabon, New York Times Magazine, 6 May 2007 In a society that has gold-plated everything from hubcaps to teeth, it was perhaps inevitable that someone would find a way to add some bling to bacteria. — Zach Zorich, Discover, February 2006 The Vikings disappeared, but the Inuit survived, proving that human survival in Greenland was not impossible and the Vikings' disappearance not inevitable. — Jared M. Diamond, Collapse, 2005 getting wet is inevitable if you are going to try to give your dog a bath
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Recent Examples on the Web While Leslie Jones will be sorely missed, at least Yang will be ready to go for all the Kim Jong Un sketches that feel inevitable this season. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Maryland Launches an Investigation on Racial Terror Lynchings: raceAhead," 13 Sep. 2019 The 19th Grand Slam title that seemed so inevitable for Rafael Nadal during the first two-plus sets of the U.S. Open final suddenly seemed in doubt as Daniil Medvedev forced it to a fifth. CBS News, "Rafael Nadal wins U.S. Open, his 19th Grand Slam title, in hourslong match," 8 Sep. 2019 Medvedev will play in the semifinals of the U.S. Open on Friday, a result that seems at once inevitable and improbable. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "How Daniil Medvedev Became the Antihero of the U.S. Open," 6 Sep. 2019 Isabel Foxen Duke, a diet recovery coach and creator of the Stop Fighting Food movement, believes that bingeing is a direct and inevitable outcome of restriction and real or perceived deprivation. Natalie Zises, Bon Appétit, "Before You Go Paleo, Keto, or Whole30, Think About These Side Effects," 26 Aug. 2019 You were also reminded of a beautiful and inevitable truth: Black women are going to take over the world. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "Beauty Moguls Share How Social Changed Their Small Businesses For The Better," 26 Aug. 2019 In any event, the response was swift and inevitable. Evan Hilbert, USA TODAY, "He was a five-star recruit and an NFL prospect. Now he's in prison," 18 Aug. 2019 Perhaps this painful transition was necessary and inevitable. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Maybe Liberty Isn’t a Lost Cause in China," 16 Aug. 2019 The book’s final chapters mostly concern the spiritualist enterprise, its improbable rise and inevitable fall. John Domini, chicagotribune.com, "‘Harbat’: Speaking to the dead, the living — and now Americans, too," 7 Aug. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inevitable

Middle English, from Latin inevitabilis, from in- + evitabilis evitable

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Statistics for inevitable

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for inevitable

The first known use of inevitable was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for inevitable

inevitable

adjective
How to pronounce inevitable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inevitable

: sure to happen

inevitable

adjective
in·​ev·​i·​ta·​ble | \ i-ˈne-və-tə-bəl How to pronounce inevitable (audio) \

Kids Definition of inevitable

: sure to happen : certain It was inevitable that the clash for leadership should come.— Jack London, The Call of the Wild

Other Words from inevitable

inevitably \ -​blē \ adverb

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Comments on inevitable

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not being in agreement or harmony

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