[im-pas-uh-buh l]


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 formsim·pas·si·bil·i·ty, im·pas·si·ble·ness, nounim·pas·si·bly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impassible

Historical Examples of impassible

  • Still grave and impassible, the Cardinal looked at her and waited.

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

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

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

    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.


    William Makepeace Thackeray

British Dictionary definitions for impassible


adjective rare

not susceptible to pain or injury
impassive or unmoved
Derived Formsimpassibility or impassibleness, nounimpassibly, 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

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