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 At first, they were welcomed as a solution to the city’s interminable water pipeline disruptions. Peter Schwartzstein, New York Times, "The Merchants of Thirst," 11 Jan. 2020 And just to take things over the top, Rosalía’s interminable ponytail, secured for the VMAs, was primed for flipping, posing, and all-around impact. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "The Best Beauty Instagrams of the Week: Selena Gomez, Rosalía, and More," 1 Sep. 2019 With an end to the interminable Max grounding nowhere in sight, the production suspension itself didn’t on its surface quite seem as strange. Maureen Tkacik, The New Republic, "Boeing Axes CEO as Company Hits New Heights of Self-Denial," 23 Dec. 2019 But each birthday, each holiday, is accompanied by an interminable seminar on how to use some new object, or to join some new network. John Herrman, New York Times, "The Catastrophist’s 2019 Tech Gift Guide," 18 Dec. 2019 The actress’s medley of plaits and dreadlocks swung interminable, parted down the middle and left to fall to waist level, a few overachieving coils reaching her hips. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Lisa Bonet and Jason Momoa Prove They Have the Best Couples Hair in Hollywood," 22 Oct. 2019 Long hours, sweating, freezing, waiting — interminable waiting — building fictional worlds between set-ups, universes held together with comedy, populated with unlikely idiots with bizarre motivations. Breanne L. Heldman,, "Chicago Fire's Yuriy Sardarov Speaks Out About His Departure: 'The Greatest 7 Years of My Life'," 26 Sep. 2019 Colorado took up an identity with the interminable pest as its season went off the rails, becoming the ‘cucarachas’, a gross metaphor for the team’s resilience amid all the losing and naysayers. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Newman: The “Cucarachas” must be exterminated for the Rockies to be taken seriously in 2020," 24 Sep. 2019 There is only one problem: The U.S. war in Afghanistan continues on its interminable, ineffectual course. Steve Chapman,, "Column: How Trump should deal with Afghanistan, the Taliban and an unwinnable war," 13 Sep. 2019

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

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Interminable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 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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