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See more synonyms for impassive on Thesaurus.com
  1. without emotion; apathetic; unmoved.
  2. calm; serene.
  3. unconscious; insensible.
  4. not subject to suffering.
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Origin of impassive

First recorded in 1660–70; im-2 + passive
Related formsim·pas·sive·ly, adverbim·pas·sive·ness, im·pas·siv·i·ty [im-pa-siv-i-tee] /ˌɪm pæˈsɪv ɪ ti/, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

calmly, bravely, quietly, meekly, dispassionately, enduringly, impassively, imperturbably, resignedly, submissively, tolerantly

Examples from the Web for impassively

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The beady eyes vanished and reappeared, and they considered me impassively.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • "The debt has been paid, Citoyenne," said Caron impassively.

  • "You couldn't go through with it," observed the big Martian impassively.

    The Space Rover

    Edwin K. Sloat

  • "Wish you'd tell my chief that," answers the man, impassively.

    A War-Time Wooing

    Charles King

  • The archers waved their caps and cheered, but the crowd looked on impassively.

    The Reign of Mary Tudor

    W. Llewelyn Williams.

British Dictionary definitions for impassively


  1. not revealing or affected by emotion; reserved
  2. calm; serene; imperturbable
  3. rare unconscious or insensible
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Derived Formsimpassively, adverbimpassiveness or 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

Word Origin and History for impassively



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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper