inviolable

play
adjective in·vi·o·la·ble \(ˌ)in-ˈvī-ə-lə-bəl\

Definition of inviolable

  1. 1 :  secure from violation or profanation an inviolable law

  2. 2 :  secure from assault or trespass :  unassailable inviolable borders

inviolability

play \(ˌ)in-ˌvī-ə-lə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

inviolableness

play \(ˌ)in-ˈvī-ə-lə-bəl-nəs\ noun

inviolably

play \(ˌ)in-ˈvī-ə-lə-blē\ adverb

inviolable was our Word of the Day on 11/17/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of inviolable in a Sentence

  1. a person with inviolable moral standards

  2. an inviolable trust between lawyer and client

Recent Examples of inviolable from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inviolable'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Inviolable is a venerable word that has been with us since the 15th century. Its opposite, "violable" ("capable of being or likely to be violated") appeared a century later. The English playwright Shackerley Marmion made good use of "violable" in A Fine Companion in 1633, writing, "Alas, my heart is Tender and violable with the least weapon Sorrow can dart at me." But English speakers have never warmed up to that word the way we have to "inviolable," and it continues to be used much less frequently. Both terms descend from Latin violare, which both shares the meaning and is an ancestor of the English word violate.

Origin and Etymology of inviolable

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin inviolabilis, from in- + violare to violate


First Known Use: 15th century


INVIOLABLE Defined for English Language Learners

inviolable

play
adjective

Definition of inviolable for English Language Learners

  • : too important to be ignored or treated with disrespect


INVIOLABLE Defined for Kids

inviolable

play
adjective in·vi·o·la·ble \in-ˈvī-ə-lə-bəl\

Definition of inviolable for Students

  1. 1 :  too sacred to be broken or denied an inviolable oath

  2. 2 :  impossible to harm or destroy by violence an inviolable fortress



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