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[in-ses-uh nt] /ɪnˈsɛs ənt/
continuing without interruption; ceaseless; unending:
an incessant noise.
Origin of incessant
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English incessaunte < Late Latin incessant-, equivalent to Latin in- in-3 + cessant- (stem of cessāns), present participle of cessāre to stop work; see cease, -ant
Related forms
incessancy, incessantness, noun
incessantly, adverb
unceasing, constant, continuous, never-ending, perpetual; eternal, everlasting; relentless, unrelenting, unremitting.
intermittent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for incessant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The flashes of lightning were incessant, and nearly blinded me.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • The footsteps were incessant, and the hurry of them became more and more rapid.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • I have not had a moment to spare from incessant toil since the 8th.

  • I don't mean that he tells stories; but it's just his incessant grumbling.

    Great Uncle Hoot-Toot

    Mrs. Molesworth
  • The murmur of pleasant conversation was incessant and musical.

    The Avenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
British Dictionary definitions for incessant


not ceasing; continual
Derived Forms
incessancy, incessantness, noun
incessantly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin incessāns, from Latin in-1 + cessāre to cease
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 incessant

mid-15c., from Old French incessant (mid-14c.), from Late Latin incessantem (nominative incessans) "unceasing," from Latin in- "not" (see in- (1)) + cessantem (nominative cessans), present participle of cessare "cease" (see cease). Related: Incessantly (early 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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