in·flex·i·ble | \(ˌ)in-ˈflek-sə-bəl \

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 \ noun
inflexibleness \(ˌ)in-ˈflek-sə-bəl-nəs \ noun
inflexibly \(ˌ)in-ˈflek-sə-blē \ 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

At the same time, inflexible and unreformed labour markets have hampered the rise of manufacturing and low-level services, the gateway for women in other poor countries. The Economist, "Why India needs women to work," 5 July 2018 But her experience is an extreme example of what millions of Chinese people deal with in an inflexible health care system that sometimes requires patients to pay upfront for treatment. New York Times, "Want to See Your Baby? In China, It Can Cost You," 22 May 2018 To begin the work of massaging an inflexible roster while making a push toward the playoffs. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons show life and an identity with 2018 NBA draft picks," 22 June 2018 The spectacle of one boy’s agonizing battle against an inflexible bureaucracy has made Prime Minister Theresa May’s response look flat-footed, while prompting a wider debate about legalizing the drug itself for recreational use. Stephen Castle, New York Times, "Stung by a Boy’s Suffering, U.K. Reviews Medical Marijuana Rules," 19 June 2018 The inflexible ratios would cost more than $800 million per year, according to the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association., "Should Massachusetts adopt a proposal limiting the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time?," 27 Apr. 2018 Merkel will now face questions three times a year, though some opposition lawmakers say the format is too inflexible. Washington Post, "Germany’s Merkel sees tough G7 talks, warns on trade issues," 6 June 2018 The idea of laws being inflexible and authority being absolute — the kind of mentality suggested by the Trump administration’s devotion to one interpretation of Romans 13 — is central to the conflation of GOP party politics and white evangelicalism. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Top Trump evangelical ally: Jesus never broke immigration law," 11 July 2018 With so many small American and European dairy farms driven out of business because of inflexible pricing regulations that distort demand and supply, such controversial economics warrant close examination. Elaine Khosrova, WSJ, "‘Milk!’ Review: Food History Worth Nursing," 7 May 2018

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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Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for inflexible

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

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More Definitions for inflexible



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 \

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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Comments on inflexible

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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