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[im-pas-uh-buh l] /ɪmˈpæs ə bəl/
incapable of suffering pain.
incapable of suffering harm.
incapable of emotion; impassive.
Origin of impassible
First recorded in 1300-50; Middle English word from Late Latin word impassībilis. See im-2, passible
Related forms
impassibility, impassibleness, noun
impassibly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for impassible
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Still grave and impassible, the Cardinal looked at her and waited.

  • That face was as pale as death: but cold, stern, and impassible.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • She lifted up her lips and kissed Henry Dunbar's impassible face.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • Almayer looked at her furtively, but the face was as impassible as ever.

    Almayer's Folly Joseph Conrad
  • Up to that moment the Chief's countenance had been impassible.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • This will lead us to see that it consists of nonentity, and that it is impassible.

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 2 Plotinos (Plotinus)
  • Consequently, matter is impassible, as by itself it possesses no quality.

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 4 Plotinos (Plotinus)
  • impassible as the soul is, everything contrary is figurative, iii.

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 4 Plotinos (Plotinus)
British Dictionary definitions for impassible


adjective (rare)
not susceptible to pain or injury
impassive or unmoved
Derived Forms
impassibility, impassibleness, noun
impassibly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for impassible

"incapable of feeling pain, exempt from suffering," mid-14c., from Old French impassible (13c.), from Church Latin impassibilis "incapable of passion," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + passibilis, from passio "suffering" (see passion). Related: Impassibility.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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