incorrigible

adjective
in·​cor·​ri·​gi·​ble | \ (ˌ)in-ˈkȯr-ə-jə-bəl How to pronounce incorrigible (audio) , -ˈkär- \

Definition of incorrigible

: incapable of being corrected or amended: such as
a(1) : not reformable : depraved
(2) : delinquent
b : not manageable : unruly

Other Words from incorrigible

incorrigibility \ (ˌ)in-​ˌkȯr-​ə-​jə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce incorrigible (audio) , -​ˌkär-​ \ noun
incorrigible noun
incorrigibleness \ (ˌ)in-​ˈkȯr-​ə-​jə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce incorrigible (audio) , -​ˈkär-​ \ noun
incorrigibly \ (ˌ)in-​ˈkȯr-​ə-​jə-​blē How to pronounce incorrigible (audio) , -​ˈkär-​ \ adverb

If incorrigible Is a Word, Is Corrigible a Word?

Incorrigible has been part of English since the 14th century. Back then, it was used to describe people who were morally depraved, but now it is most often applied to people who merely have bad habits. Is there a "corrigible?" Yes, indeed, we've used "corrigible" in the sense of "capable of being set right; reparable" (as in "a corrigible defect" and "a corrigible sinner") since the 15th century. Both words are from Latin corrigere, which means "to correct" and which is also the source of our word correct.

Examples of incorrigible in a Sentence

The incorrigible maleness of men is a standing rebuke to the Rousseau-inspired notions of human moral plasticity that are central to liberalism. — Richard Lowry, National Review, 3 July 2000 At the heart of Roosevelt's style in foreign affairs was a certain incorrigible amateurism. His off-the-cuff improvisations, his airy tendency to throw out half-baked ideas, caused others to underrate his continuity of purpose … — Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., American Heritage, May/June 1994 Eating fugu … is an exotic custom that probably would appeal to every incorrigible mountain climber, skydiver and bungee-jumper in America. Why? The fugu is poisonous—and there's no antidote. — Max Friedman, Vegetarian Times, October 1993 Yes, this is a book about America … all seen through the fairy-book life of an incorrigible kid, abandoned by his parents and brought up in a reformatory … — Stephen Jay Gould, New York Times Book Review, 7 May 1989 an incorrigible habit of playing practical jokes He is always the class clown and his teachers say he is incorrigible.
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Recent Examples on the Web Soon after, the incorrigible Cole Porter took the naughty song to new heights (or depths). Gregg Opelka, WSJ, 20 Dec. 2021 Seven girls from Ballet Academy East will appear in the production, as well as six boys from the Ailey school and Ballet Tech, including the two boys alternating as Fritz, Marie’s adorable, incorrigible younger brother. New York Times, 24 Nov. 2021 Mercado, 32, of Woodridge, operated D and D Kennel on the outskirts of West Chicago and earned a reputation for being able to turn incorrigible animals into adoptable pets. John Keilman, chicagotribune.com, 10 Nov. 2021 Mercado, 32, operated D and D Kennel on the outskirts of West Chicago and earned a reputation for being able to turn incorrigible animals into adoptable pets, rarely turning down requests from rescue organizations. John Keilman, chicagotribune.com, 2 Oct. 2021 One stalks about the room like a criminal imprisoned, unregenerate, incorrigible. Patricia Highsmith, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 The court ruled that judges need not find juvenile offenders permanently incorrigible before sentencing them to life without parole. Brian Mcgill, WSJ, 23 June 2021 The court ruled that judges need not find juvenile offenders permanently incorrigible before sentencing them to life without parole. Brian Mcgill, WSJ, 23 June 2021 The court ruled that judges need not find juvenile offenders permanently incorrigible before sentencing them to life without parole. Brian Mcgill, WSJ, 23 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incorrigible.' 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 incorrigible

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for incorrigible

Middle English, from Late Latin incorrigibilis, from Latin in- + corrigere to correct — more at correct

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The first known use of incorrigible was in the 14th century

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incorrespondence

incorrigible

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Last Updated

28 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Incorrigible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incorrigible. Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for incorrigible

incorrigible

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of incorrigible

: not able to be corrected or changed

More from Merriam-Webster on incorrigible

Nglish: Translation of incorrigible for Spanish Speakers

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