in·​ter·​mi·​na·​ble | \ (ˌ)in-ˈtərm-nə-bəl How to pronounce interminable (audio) , -ˈtər-mə- \

Definition of interminable

: having or seeming to have no end especially : wearisomely protracted an interminable sermon

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Other Words from interminable

interminableness noun
interminably \ (ˌ)in-​ˈtərm-​nə-​blē How to pronounce interminably (audio) , -​ˈtər-​mə-​ \ adverb

Did You Know?

We promise not to ramble on endlessly about the origins of "interminable." The word was borrowed into English in the 15th century and descends from a Latin combination of the prefix in- ("not") and the verb terminare, meaning "to terminate" or "to limit." English speakers also coined the antonym terminable, meaning "capable of being brought to an end," from "terminare." Other relatives of "interminable" in English include "terminate," "determine," "terminal," and "exterminate."

Examples of interminable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 2000, the issue was that the outcome of the vote was a statistical tie and then the Supreme Court intervened to stop what could have ended up being an interminable series of indeterminate recounts under clashing rules approved by lower courts. Damon Linker, TheWeek, "Democrats must bow to the Electoral College," 15 Sep. 2020 But the seemingly interminable delay in getting another coronavirus relief package through Congress is different—and weird. Alan S. Blinder, WSJ, "Will Congress Ever Break the Covid Relief Standoff?," 14 Sep. 2020 And in each case, after what seems like an interminable period, the American political system has produced solutions or at least partial solutions to the problems that were challenging the United States. CBS News, "Historian Hal Brands on COVID-19's effect on world order," 9 Sep. 2020 On August 27, footage emerged of Metaxas sucker-punching an anti-Trump protester on the streets of Washington, D.C., after attending the president’s interminable acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "Put Not Your Trust in Princes (nor in Republicans)," 4 Sep. 2020 Remember that interminable wait as the stewards at Churchill Downs debated whether Maximum Security’s victory would stand? Childs Walker,, "Kentucky Derby storylines: Can Tiz the Law continue his quest for a mutated Triple Crown?," 29 Aug. 2020 Even though at times prominent Republicans vied to find new ways to mispronounce her first name, Harris was never mentioned in Trump’s interminable acceptance speech. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "The Republicans Still Don’t Know How to Run Against Biden," 28 Aug. 2020 Heat waves and fires throughout the West have left many of us in what seems to be an interminable state of sweat and existential dread. Sunset Magazine, "Beat the Heat with This Immersive Virtual Tour of Kenai Fjords National Park," 24 Aug. 2020 The structure provides a new way of collapsing interminable terms into just dozens of essential components. Quanta Magazine, "The Mathematical Structure of Particle Collisions Comes Into View," 20 Aug. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for interminable

Middle English, from Late Latin interminabilis, from Latin in- + terminare to terminate

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

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Interminable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for interminable


How to pronounce interminable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of interminable

disapproving : having or seeming to have no end : continuing for a very long time


in·​ter·​mi·​na·​ble | \ in-ˈtər-mə-nə-bəl How to pronounce interminable (audio) \

Kids Definition of interminable

: having or seeming to have no end … Mr. and Mrs. Welch were having an interminable, rambling conversation about nothing in particular …— Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy

Other Words from interminable

interminably \ -​blē \ adverb

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