interminable

adjective
in·​ter·​mi·​na·​ble | \ (ˌ)in-ˈtərm-nə-bəl, -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 , -​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

This would set the stage for an interminable series of referendums far into Britain’s future on a range of questions ill-suited to direct democracy—a terrible death by a thousand elections. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Britain Risks Death by a Thousand Elections," 21 Nov. 2018 And while every travel method has its moments, planes really up the ante with snaking security lines, the death match to get your overhead luggage into the bin, and interminable delays. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Thanksgiving Air Travel Is Set to Be Busier Than Ever This Year—Here’s What to Know," 14 Nov. 2018 Customs and Border Protection processes them with mechanical precision, but even with 34 lanes open for vehicles and 36 for pedestrians, the lines are interminable. Jillian Kay Melchior, WSJ, "Is There a Crisis at the Border?," 5 Nov. 2018 The list pours on and on in interminable columns, down a corridor and across walls that are multiple storeys high. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "The evolutionary mystery of gigantic human brains," 23 Aug. 2018 For those of us who make a habit of investing our allegiance in underdogs, then, the World Cup often reads like an interminable, run-on sentence of tragedy, loosely punctuated with eruptions of joy. Kanishk Tharoor, The Atlantic, "The Elusive Underdog Magic of the World Cup," 14 July 2018 In focusing on revenge, any real healing is unnecessarily delayed by the interminable death penalty appeals process, leaving those families to spend precious years or decades of their lives reliving the horror and trauma of the murder. BostonGlobe.com, "Should Massachusetts reinstate the death penalty for those who murder police officers?," 22 June 2018 Bernard’s Season Two arc—which jumps around in time and relies on a bunch of interminable mumbling—has been pretty frustrating. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Westworld Season 2 Episode 6 Recap: Off the Rails," 28 May 2018 To say that Kevin Anderson won this interminable Wimbledon semifinal, and that John Isner lost it, didn't really seem fair. Howard Fendrich, chicagotribune.com, "Illinois alumnus Kevin Anderson beats John Isner in longest semifinal in Wimbledon history," 13 July 2018

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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Statistics for interminable

Last Updated

31 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for interminable

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

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More Definitions for interminable

interminable

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of interminable

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

interminable

adjective
in·​ter·​mi·​na·​ble | \ in-ˈtər-mə-nə-bəl \

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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