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90s Slang You Should Know


[im-pas-iv] /ɪmˈpæs ɪv/
without emotion; apathetic; unmoved.
calm; serene.
unconscious; insensible.
not subject to suffering.
Origin of impassive
First recorded in 1660-70; im-2 + passive
Related forms
impassively, adverb
impassiveness, impassivity
[im-pa-siv-i-tee] /ˌɪm pæˈsɪv ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
1. emotionless, phlegmatic, stoical, indifferent, undisturbed, unperturbed. 2. tranquil, unruffled, composed. 4. unaffected; unflinching. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for impassivity
Historical Examples
  • Then, indeed, for a moment, the impassivity of his features relaxed.

    The Tempting of Tavernake E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • James heard of his host's defection with impassivity and a glance of his eyeglass.

    Love and Lucy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • Dignity of deportment and impassivity of demeanour were especially cultivated by the ruling classes.

    The Civilization Of China Herbert A. Giles
  • But when the still figure on the roof saw me, the impassivity of it vanished.

    Phroso Anthony Hope
  • Proud, haughty, and masked by the impassivity of the Indian races, she awaited the coming of the strangers.

    In the Brooding Wild Ridgwell Cullum
  • The contemptuous voice pierced the Indian's armor of impassivity.

  • For the first time in her knowledge of him, the mask of impassivity dropped from his face; his cold eyes gleamed unpleasantly.

    The Gambler Katherine Cecil Thurston
  • There seemed to Cranmer something horrible in this impassivity.

    The Fifth Queen Ford Madox Ford
  • Then she calmly refolded the letter and placed it in its envelope with the impassivity of a young sphinx.

  • Her eyes searched his face; encountered that barrier of impassivity.

    Caravans By Night Harry Hervey
British Dictionary definitions for impassivity


not revealing or affected by emotion; reserved
calm; serene; imperturbable
(rare) unconscious or insensible
Derived Forms
impassively, adverb
impassiveness, impassivity (ˌɪmpæˈsɪvɪtɪ) noun
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 impassivity

1794, from impassive + -ity.



1660s, "not feeling pain," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + passive. Meaning "void of emotions" is from 1690s. Related: Impassively; impassiveness (1640s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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