in·​flex·​i·​ble | \ (ˌ)in-ˈflek-sə-bəl How to pronounce inflexible (audio) \

Definition of inflexible

: not flexible: such as
a : characterized by firmness of will or purpose : unyielding an inflexible judge took an inflexible stance … he pulled out of the talks, saying administration officials were being inflexible— Lloyd Grove His secret, it turned out, was an inflexible regimen that required a permanent diet except on certain cheating days each week …— Calvin Trillin
b : not easily bent or twisted : lacking or deficient in suppleness an inflexible steel rod Imbalances in any area of this soft tissue, as well as inflexible or weak hip muscles, can pull the kneecap off track …Food & Fitness Advisor
c : not easily changed : unalterable an inflexible deadline inflexible laws/rules jobs with inflexible hours

Other Words from inflexible

inflexibility \ (ˌ)in-​ˌflek-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce inflexible (audio) \ noun, plural inflexibilities
joint inflexibility the inflexibility of the schedule
inflexibleness \ (ˌ)in-​ˈflek-​sə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce inflexible (audio) \ noun
inflexibly \ (ˌ)in-​ˈflek-​sə-​blē How to pronounce inflexible (audio) \ adverb
rules that are inflexibly applied

Choose the Right Synonym for inflexible

inflexible, obdurate, adamant mean unwilling to alter a predetermined course or purpose. inflexible implies rigid adherence or even servile conformity to principle. inflexible in their demands obdurate stresses hardness of heart and insensitivity to appeals for mercy or the influence of divine grace. obdurate in his refusal to grant clemency adamant implies utter immovability in the face of all temptation or entreaty. adamant that the work should continue

synonyms see in addition stiff

Examples of inflexible in a Sentence

the inflexible law of gravity shoes made of inflexible plastic hurt my feet
Recent Examples on the Web His military’s logistics are weak, its weapons second-rate, its tactics inflexible, and its top-down command structure obsolete. William A. Galston, WSJ, 20 Sep. 2022 Is Belichick too inflexible, or giving up on players too quickly? Ben Volin,, 31 Aug. 2022 Over time, though, the pandemic has exposed how an inflexible autocracy that lacks the legitimacy conferred by the ballot box can become fixed into dangerous and self-defeating patterns of policy and behavior. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 9 Sep. 2022 Military planning, limited by inflexible myopic generals, was woefully slow to address this radically new combat environment. Chicago Tribune, 1 Sep. 2022 The legacy software these insurance companies used was decades old, clunky, and inflexible. Kevin Kruse, Forbes, 25 Aug. 2022 But those measures do not address the root causes of teacher resignations, including an evaluation system that feels punitive and inflexible, said Lucia Cuomo, an ESL teacher in Northeast Washington. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2022 Employers aren't restricted to hiring in certain geographies, and candidates won't be forced to turn down job offers due to inflexible or exclusively in-office working models. Raja Patel, Forbes, 25 July 2022 The new stadium’s capacity is problematic, too big for most of what it will be called upon to do, too inflexible to easily expand. Ken Goe For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 8 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inflexible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of inflexible

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inflexible

Middle English, from Latin inflexibilis, from in- + flexibilis flexible

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

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Last Updated

26 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inflexible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for inflexible


in·​flex·​i·​ble | \ in-ˈflek-sə-bəl How to pronounce inflexible (audio) \

Kids Definition of inflexible

1 : not easily bent or twisted
2 : not easily influenced or persuaded an inflexible judge
3 : not easily changed inflexible rules

More from Merriam-Webster on inflexible

Nglish: Translation of inflexible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inflexible for Arabic Speakers


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