in·​flex·​i·​ble (ˌ)in-ˈflek-sə-bəl How to pronounce inflexible (audio)
: not flexible: such as
: 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 inflexibleLloyd Grove
His secret, it turned out, was an inflexible regimen that required a permanent diet except on certain cheating days each week …Calvin Trillin
: 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
: not easily changed : unalterable
an inflexible deadline
inflexible laws/rules
jobs with inflexible hours
inflexibility noun
plural inflexibilities
joint inflexibility
the inflexibility of the schedule
inflexibleness noun
inflexibly 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 We aren't locked into an inflexible multi-year strategy. Kris Putnam-Walkerly, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Advocates say more needs to happen faster Still, long COVID advocates see the federal effort as anemic, inflexible and slow. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 26 Feb. 2024 Sure, there will be some platooning at the bottom of the lineup, but the San Francisco roster seems as inflexible as ever. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, 7 Mar. 2024 Giving Wilkins the inflexible $22.1 million franchise tag would have handicapped Miami in free agency. Barry Jackson, Miami Herald, 5 Mar. 2024 Thus, whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024 Trapped between the monolith of Jim Crow, the inflexible world of the Black upper class, and the violence of Prohibition-era Chicago, Jay and Nelly work together and stoke the flames of a love worth fighting for. Sarah Yang, Sunset Magazine, 7 Feb. 2024 The biggest challenge is striking the right balance and finding ways to be intentionally inflexible, while also showing willingness and enthusiasm. Barnaby Lashbrooke, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 The saga is resonating with working moms frustrated with inflexible remote work policies. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 25 Jan. 2024

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near inflexible

Cite this Entry

“Inflexible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​flex·​i·​ble (ˈ)in-ˈflek-sə-bəl How to pronounce inflexible (audio)
: not easily bent or twisted : rigid, stiff
: not easily influenced or persuaded : firm
: incapable of change : unalterable
inflexible laws
inflexibly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on inflexible

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!