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 The wait probably felt interminable for Josh Jung, who had come out on deck in the eighth inning of Texas’ 5-4 loss to Kansas City on Tuesday. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "Rangers are getting a ‘fantastic’ view of their future from trio of top prospects in camp," 25 Feb. 2020 The occasional hand pump or public tap would see interminable lines. Harsh Mander, Quartz India, "An Indian cloth trader’s harrowing, 900 km walk home amid coronavirus lockdown," 28 Apr. 2020 For the past thirteen years, Mexico has been caught in an interminable meatgrinder of a dirty war, instigated by the United States and fed by American guns and money, that ranks among the twenty-first century’s deadliest conflicts. Seth Harp, Harper's Magazine, "In Harm’s Way," 27 Apr. 2020 There are days when virtually all of your bass will come at the end of what seems like an interminable pause. Dave Hurteau, Field & Stream, "The 7 Best Baits for Spring Smallmouth Bass," 22 Apr. 2020 While the general public wilts in the heat in interminable lines, Schwartz’s family and other visitors who have paid a premium price simply circumvent the queues. Kanishk Tharoor, The New Republic, "The Exclusivity Economy," 21 Apr. 2020 Much of this is to be expected, of course: Front line warriors are confronting fierce viral loads from the dozens of ailing patients they're charged with treating during their interminable shifts. Jolene Edgar, Allure, "How a COVID-19 Diagnosis Changed This Plastic Surgeon's Perspective on Aesthetic Medicine," 15 Apr. 2020 In the absence of a specific claimant who can demonstrate harm under the Olmstead guidelines, how many hospitals must Mississippi close to meet the undefined and interminable demands of DOJ? John Hirschauer, National Review, "Mississippi’s Mental-Illness Policies Are Working. DOJ Is Challenging Them.," 17 June 2019 In the novel, by contrast, Emma's father is a puddle of gloom, almost always sitting, and his dialogue is often interminable. Ted Scheinman, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Autumn de Wilde’s ‘Emma’ Gets Right About Jane Austen’s Irony," 5 Mar. 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

3 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Interminable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 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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