in·​ter·​mi·​na·​ble (ˌ)in-ˈtər-mə-nə-bəl How to pronounce interminable (audio)
: having or seeming to have no end
especially : wearisomely protracted
an interminable sermon
interminableness noun
interminably adverb

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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." The word describes not only something without an actual end (or no end in sight, such as "interminable oceans"), but also events, such as tedious lectures, that drag on in such a way that they give no clear indication of ever wrapping up. Other relatives of interminable in English include terminate, determine, terminal, and exterminate.

Examples of interminable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the 20th century, such insularity gripped the country before each of the two world wars, when Americans were loath to get involved in what many saw as the Old World’s interminable conflicts. Jon Sebastian Shifrin, Baltimore Sun, 26 Apr. 2024 Then the jury votes will be collected over a series of glorified Zoom calls to representatives in each participating country, which will be marked by video lags and audio dropouts; this process is awkward, interminable, cringeworthy and delightful. Glen Weldon, NPR, 9 May 2024 As a trio of savvy circus vets, Sara Gettelfinger, Stan Brown and Joe DePaul offer a welcome dose of levity to the at times interminable proceedings. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 22 Mar. 2024 Israel has evolved an entire intelligence apparatus and aggressive digital espionage industry around advancing its geopolitical interests, particularly its interminable conflict in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Matt Burgess, WIRED, 8 Oct. 2023 See all Example Sentences for interminable 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'interminable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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


Dictionary Entries Near interminable

Cite this Entry

“Interminable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​ter·​mi·​na·​ble (ˈ)in-ˈtərm-(ə-)nə-bəl How to pronounce interminable (audio)
: having or seeming to have no end
especially : tiresomely long
interminableness noun
interminably adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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