without emotion; apathetic; unmoved.
calm; serene.
unconscious; insensible.
not subject to suffering.

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

Synonyms for impassive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impassivity

Historical Examples of impassivity

  • James heard of his host's defection with impassivity and a glance of his eyeglass.

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • She continued in her impassivity, smiling a provoking and inscrutable smile.

    The Creators

    May Sinclair

  • She would find it impossible to outdo him in the matter of impassivity.

    The Shadow

    Arthur Stringer

  • But when the still figure on the roof saw me, the impassivity of it vanished.


    Anthony Hope

  • The contemptuous voice pierced the Indian's armor of impassivity.

British Dictionary definitions for impassivity



not revealing or affected by emotion; reserved
calm; serene; imperturbable
rare unconscious or insensible
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 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