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

Definition of inflexible

1 : rigidly firm in will or purpose : unyielding
2 : not readily bent : lacking or deficient in suppleness
3 : incapable of change : unalterable

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Other Words from inflexible

inflexibility \ (ˌ)in-​ˌflek-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce inflexibility (audio) \ noun
inflexibleness \ (ˌ)in-​ˈflek-​sə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce inflexibleness (audio) \ noun
inflexibly \ (ˌ)in-​ˈflek-​sə-​blē How to pronounce inflexibly (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for inflexible

inflexible, obdurate, adamant mean unwilling to alter a predetermined course or purpose. inflexible implies rigid adherence or even slavish 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 Burnout, retention and inflexible work arrangements were harming companies before Covid-19 came along. CNN, "As America reopens, we need to offer caregivers a lot more support," 4 June 2020 In fact the limit has not been as inflexible as all that. The Economist, "Free exchange Should the Fed cut rates below zero?," 23 May 2020 An adult’s body might be better armed against familiar threats, but more inflexible against novel ones. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "What's Different About the Coronavirus in Kids," 15 May 2020 Brexit trade talks hit early troubles as British and European Union negotiators accused each other of being inflexible and concerns mounted that there won’t be enough time to complete a broad deal by the end-of-year deadline. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Virus-Plagued Brexit Talks Fail to Progress Much as Negotiation Round Ends on Acrimonious Note," 24 Apr. 2020 But making court appointments can be a struggle for many low-income borrowers, who may have inflexible work hours or lack transportation. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Payday loans are landing people in jail," 20 Feb. 2020 At the same time, many jobs require longer, inflexible hours. New York Times, "Young Men Embrace Gender Equality, but They Still Don’t Vacuum," 11 Feb. 2020 But aspects of the rules were inflexible, and automakers had grown to resent them. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "Trump’s Auto Rollback Will Eliminate 13,500 Jobs," 13 Apr. 2020 But the Europa League schedule was inflexible, and so the round-of-32 game went on, with only the players’ shouts, the coaches’ instructions and the referee’s whistle as a soundtrack. Andrew Das, New York Times, "Home 2, Visitor 1, Spectators 0," 9 Mar. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of inflexible

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for inflexible

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

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Time Traveler for inflexible

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for inflexible

Last Updated

21 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inflexible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for inflexible


How to pronounce inflexible (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inflexible

: not easily influenced or persuaded
: not easily bent or twisted
: not easily changed


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

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