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 inimitable (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 Naan Hut!), was shot mostly in Belgium and Germany and carries the inimitable sensibility of one of France’s most daring auteurs. Los Angeles Times, 10 July 2021 Written in Bragg’s inimitable style, this moving book is a literary ode to canine love. Washington Post, 18 June 2021 Gorham tells us all about Byredo’s journey and what’s next for the inimitable brand. Celia Shatzman, Forbes, 29 June 2021 In Motion, there’s the inimitable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a comic piece by Monica Bill Barnes & Company, and an interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations by Pam Tanowitz Dance, with pianist Simone Dinnerstein performing the original. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, 22 June 2021 Sorum’s idea, work on the new project was spontaneous and brisk, inspiring a batch of 11 original songs that veer from surf rock to blues, a sum of all its parts tied together by Gibbons’ inimitable swagger and ability to spin a hell of a tale. Jim Ryan, Forbes, 18 June 2021 Grilling imparts a subtle but inimitable smoke flavor, which adds complexity and soulfulness to a vegetable’s already vibrant taste. New York Times, 15 June 2021 Recently serviced, the car is accompanied by a nice selection of photographs that document its provenance and also depict some of feline co-stars of the world-famous—and inimitable—Siegfried & Roy shows. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 31 May 2021 Grace Jones, who turns 73 today, has always possessed an inimitable aesthetic vision. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 19 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for inimitable

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

18 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inimitable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for inimitable



English Language Learners Definition of inimitable

: impossible to copy or imitate

More from Merriam-Webster on inimitable

Nglish: Translation of inimitable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inimitable for Arabic Speakers


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