inimitable

adjective
in·​im·​i·​ta·​ble | \ (ˌ)i-ˈni-mə-tə-bəl How to pronounce inimitable (audio) \

Definition of inimitable

: not capable of being imitated : matchless her own inimitable style

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Other Words from inimitable

inimitableness noun
inimitably \ (ˌ)i-​ˈni-​mə-​tə-​blē How to pronounce inimitably (audio) \ adverb

How Should You Use inimitable?

Something that is inimitable is, literally, not able to be imitated. In actual usage the word describes things so uniquely extraordinary as to not be copied or equaled, which is why you often hear it used to praise outstanding talents or performances. (The antonym "imitable" describes things that are common or ordinary and could easily be replicated or surpassed.) Inimitable derives via Middle English from Latin inimitabilis. Be careful not to confuse it with "inimical" or "inimicable," two adjectives meaning hostile or harmful; those words derive from the same Latin root that gave us "enemy" ("inimicus").

Examples of inimitable in a Sentence

an inimitable performer of violin solos

Recent Examples on the Web

Affectionately nicknamed Le Roi, or The King, Michel Platini bestrode the soccer field with inimitable elegance as the world’s best player of the early 1980s, helping to bridge the gap between the eras of Pele and Diego Maradona. Washington Post, "Michel Platini, a soccer great now touched by scandal," 18 June 2019 The first trailer showcases Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracle’s blend of new, intimate interviews, rare footage of rehearsal and various productions, and the sweeping soundtrack of the musical’s inimitable score. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles trailer previews the story of the musical's unlikely journey to Broadway classic," 12 June 2019 But the greatest secret to their inimitable style — what makes them Ron Howard films — is his background in narrative storytelling and the use of that framework with a more objective lens. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "How Ron Howard used the structure of opera to tell the story of Pavarotti's life," 4 June 2019 In the case of Arp, a revolutionary figure in modernism’s movements of abstraction, Dadaism and Surrealism, this complementary group show illumines just how foundational and remarkably inimitable Arp’s abstractions really are. Lance Esplund, WSJ, "‘The Nature of Arp’ Review: Revolutionary Forms," 30 Oct. 2018 Gucci Beauty is back, and better than ever under the inimitable vision of creative director Alessandro Michele with a new lipstick collection. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Gucci Beauty Returns With 58 New Lipsticks You'll be Obsessed With," 10 May 2019 At a preview on Monday morning, the inimitable voices of everyone from Jean-Paul Gaultier to Judy Garland played as running commentary through the Costume Institute's normally serene galleries. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "Why the 2019 Met Gala is Going to be More Over the Top Than Ever," 6 May 2019 All of us dreaming of a Mindy and B.J. coupling will have to keep swooning over their inimitable Instagram/Twitter banter (does Cookie Monster really have a wife?!), and rest easy knowing B.J. is one epic godfather. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "Mindy Kaling Reveals She's So Close With B.J. Novak, He's Her Daughter's Godfather," 3 May 2019 The latter two co-produced the track, and Natalie Prass lent her inimitable voice to the recording. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Andy Jenkins Gets "Illuminated" in His Newest Music Video," 1 Oct. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inimitable

Middle English, from Latin inimitabilis, from in- + imitabilis imitable

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Last Updated

28 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for inimitable

The first known use of inimitable was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for inimitable

inimitable

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of inimitable

: impossible to copy or imitate

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