in·​ex·​o·​ra·​ble | \(ˌ)i-ˈneks-rə-bəl, -ˈnek-sə-, -ˈneg-zə-rə- \

Definition of inexorable 

: not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped : relentless inexorable progress

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Other Words from inexorable

inexorability \(ˌ)i-​ˌneks-​rə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē, -​ˌnek-​sə-​, -​ˌneg-​zə-​ \ noun
inexorableness \(ˌ)i-​ˈneks-​rə-​bəl-​nəs, -​ˈnek-​sə-​, -​ˈneg-​zə-​ \ noun
inexorably \(ˌ)i-​ˈneks-​rə-​blē, -​ˈnek-​sə-​, -​ˈneg-​zə-​rə-​ \ adverb

Did You Know?

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 persons, or sometimes to personified things ("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 the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict. Michelle Manetti, Good Housekeeping, "Meghan McCain Writes Deeply Moving Tribute to Her Late Father John McCain," 26 Aug. 2018 Alsop drew from the orchestra a slow-but-inexorable crescendo that eventually receded to a whisper. Howard Reich,, "CSO at Ravinia review: Marin Alsop poetically launches Bernstein tribute," 13 July 2018 But most recently, the number of orcas here has dwindled to just 75, a 30-year-low in what seems to be an inexorable, perplexing decline. New York Times, "Orcas of the Pacific Northwest Are Starving and Disappearing," 9 July 2018 In the true, inexorable tradition of Greek tragedy, there is no getting out of it. Gary Thompson,, "Think these movies are too gory? The Greek myths they're based on are worse," 12 July 2018 Call it progress, the inevitable inexorable direction of taking control from the driver for the sake of automation, which incidentally, was first offered way back in the ’60s in the form of cruise control. Robert Duffer,, "The shift is on: Manual transmissions may be endangered but they're also beloved," 11 July 2018 Ratcliff and Eric Libby, a theoretical biologist at Umeå University in Sweden, proposed 4 years ago that a ratcheting effect took over, driving an inexorable increase in complexity. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "The momentous transition to multicellular life may not have been so hard after all," 28 June 2018 The seeming inexorable shift toward consumers buying on the web, instead of at stores, isn’t likely to be affected by Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling that online retailers have to pay sales tax, experts say. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court ruling on sales tax will bring headache to smaller online sellers," 21 June 2018 But the seemingly inexorable decline continued apace. Anthony A. Williams, Washington Post, "Washington has come far in 50 years, but is there a way to make it work for everyone?," 27 Mar. 2018

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

1542, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inexorable

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

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Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for inexorable

The first known use of inexorable was in 1542

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More Definitions for inexorable



English Language Learners Definition of inexorable

: not able to be stopped or changed


in·​ex·​o·​ra·​ble | \i-ˈnek-sə-rə-bəl \

Kids Definition of inexorable

: relentless We cannot stop the inexorable passing of time.

Other Words from inexorable

inexorably \-​blē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on inexorable

Spanish Central: Translation of inexorable

Nglish: Translation of inexorable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inexorable for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inexorable

What made you want to look up inexorable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

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