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 interminable (audio) , -​ˈtər-​mə-​ \ 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." 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 Moyn concludes that Americans have only recently come to face a binary choice between interminable wars that are either intense and dirty or humane and clean. Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2021 The leveling process can be a very slow, sometimes interminable grind. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 22 Oct. 2021 Many of the past 735 days have been distressing and interminable for a variety of reasons, but today—at the very least—one of those reasons doesn’t apply because Succession is back, baby! Kevin Sullivan, Robb Report, 17 Oct. 2021 Today, pictures of bare supermarket shelves and interminable lines for gasoline across the U.K. harken back to that era—and beg an obvious question: could a return to the three-day work week be around the corner? Sophie Mellor, Fortune, 11 Oct. 2021 And so, in place of serenity, many visitors have instead found packed parking lots, congested trailheads, overrun campsites and interminable lines. New York Times, 8 July 2021 After a seemingly interminable spate of record-breaking heat, worsening drought and frequent wildfires, portions of California will experience a noticeable shift in the form of wintery weather, the National Weather Service said. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2021 The final showdown, an interminable search-and-rescue mission on an island compound off the coast of Japan, supposes that what the fans want more than anything else is weepy, wheezy cliché-mongering. New York Times, 29 Sep. 2021 What followed was a tirade of interminable duration With Dumpty spewing cataracts of rank disinformation. John Lithgow, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near interminable



in terminal decline

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Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Interminable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for interminable



English Language Learners Definition of interminable

: 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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