in·​ex·​o·​ra·​ble (ˌ)i-ˈnek-sə-rə-bəl How to pronounce inexorable (audio)
-ˈneg-zə-rə- How to pronounce inexorable (audio)
: not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped : relentless
inexorable progress
(ˌ)i-ˌnek-sə-rə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce inexorable (audio)
(ˌ)i-ˈnek-sə-rə-bəl-nəs How to pronounce inexorable (audio)
(ˌ)i-ˈnek-sə-rə-blē How to pronounce inexorable (audio)

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The Latin antecedent of inexorable is inexorabilis, which is itself a combination of the prefix in-, meaning "not," plus exorabilis, meaning "pliant" or "capable of being moved by entreaty." It's a fitting etymology for inexorable. You can beseech and implore until you're blue in the face, but that won't have any effect on something that's inexorable. Inexorable has been a part of the English language since the 1500s. Originally, it was often applied to people or sometimes to personified things, as in "deaf and inexorable laws." These days, it is usually applied to things, as in "inexorable monotony" or "an inexorable trend." In such cases, it essentially means "unyielding" or "inflexible."

Examples of inexorable in a Sentence

the inexorable rise of a political movement
Recent Examples on the Web But even more terrifying are reports of everyday horror — a gay bashing in the gay-friendly part of San Diego, an episode of cruel LGBTQ+ bullying at the high school, the treacherous specter of drug abuse and the inexorable phantom of death. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2024 The inexorable advance of technological noise in the twentieth century—cars, airplanes, helicopters, pile drivers, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, home stereos, stadium sound systems—left the impression that the world was getting louder year by year. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 15 Apr. 2024 In interviews with a dozen of the country’s leading experts on aging, all described inexorable patterns that almost always accelerate after age 80. Michael D. Shear Michael D. Shear, New York Times, 4 Apr. 2024 The music reminds you that the stakes are ancient but low, that there is no danger in the show’s world that is inexorable. Wesley Morris Ron Butler Emma Kehlbeck Ted Blaisdell, New York Times, 5 Apr. 2024 The inexorable momentum of the novel is toward the final such private space, Winston’s last line of defense, and the last line of defense in any totalitarian society: the hidden compartment of his mind. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, 5 Apr. 2024 The inexorable decline in enrollment is exacerbated by a startling large number of students who may be enrolled but are chronically absent — what once was known as playing hooky. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, 9 Mar. 2024 Enlarge Aurich Lawson The inexorable rise of the North American Charging Standard continues unabated. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 27 June 2023 This mismatch is the root cause of many of the problems with corporate networks, including their inexorable switchover from attract to extract mode and the exclusion of so many contributors from the upside of their networks. Chris Dixon, Fortune, 10 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inexorable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin inexorabilis, from in- + exorabilis pliant, from exorare to prevail upon, from ex- + orare to speak — more at oration

First Known Use

1542, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of inexorable was in 1542


Dictionary Entries Near inexorable

Cite this Entry

“Inexorable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​ex·​o·​ra·​ble (ˈ)in-ˈeks-(ə-)rə-bəl How to pronounce inexorable (audio)
inexorableness noun
inexorably adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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