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 Jamie celebrated in her inimitable style, which involves her making odd little chirping noises and sounds, along with a few happy words. oregonlive, "In ‘Top Chef’ Portland Episode 2, chefs cook with ‘iconic local brews,’ coffee and beer," 9 Apr. 2021 The inimitable Schmautz, who helped the Bruins make it to three Cup Finals across seven seasons, died last Sunday at his home in Arizona., "Trade deadline has different look for Bruins GM Don Sweeney this year," 3 Apr. 2021 In it, Deborah Johnson, played by the inimitable Dominique Fishback, recites a quiet, stirring poem to her love and father of her unborn child, former chairman of the Black Panther Illinois chapter Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya). Kathleen Newman-bremang,, "Judas And The Black Messiah Was a Start — Now, It’s Time To Celebrate the Women of the Black Panther Party," 28 Mar. 2021 Because that Lapin Turbo, in addition to its 60 horsepower and inimitable style, might be packing a Nexar AI crash reconstruction system. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "AI-Powered Automatic Crash Reconstruction Goes Live in Japan," 24 Mar. 2021 But what is the thing that makes the room such an unforgettable, inimitable success? David Netto, Town & Country, "The Design Secrets of Great Party Houses," 22 Mar. 2021 This new Biden lacks the old Biden's inimitable Biden-ness. Frank Bruni New York Times, Star Tribune, "Where did Joe Biden go?," 21 Mar. 2021 Over the next month or so, McEnany continued hyping specious claims of voter fraud and irregularities in her inimitable rapid-fire delivery. Washington Post, "Opinion: ‘Big Lie’ promoter Kayleigh McEnany lands at Fox News, naturally," 3 Mar. 2021 That’s what makes women like Jodie inimitable, formidable and absolutely iconic. Bianca Salonga, Forbes, "Beauty Secrets Behind This Year’s Most Stunning Looks At The Golden Globes," 2 Mar. 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

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

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Last Updated

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inimitable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of inimitable

: impossible to copy or imitate

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