[in-klem-uh nt]


(of the weather, the elements, etc.) severe, rough, or harsh; stormy.
not kind or merciful.

Origin of inclement

1615–25; < Latin inclēment-, equivalent to in- in-3 + clēment- (stem of clēmēns) clement
Related formsin·clem·en·cy, in·clem·ent·ness, nounin·clem·ent·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inclemency

Historical Examples of inclemency

  • We were in a wigwam, which afforded us but miserable shelter from the inclemency of the season.

    The Gypsies

    Charles G. Leland

  • John Mangles bore him company, and endured with him the inclemency of the weather.

  • This gloom, and the inclemency of the weather, added to the young painter's depression.

    Caught In The Net

    Emile Gaboriau

  • The post-boys were exposed to all the inclemency of the weather both by day and night.

  • What were rain and cold, the inclemency of the elements to them?

British Dictionary definitions for inclemency



(of weather) stormy, severe, or tempestuous
harsh, severe, or merciless
Derived Formsinclemency or inclementness, nouninclemently, 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 inclemency

1550s, from Middle French inclémence and directly from Latin inclementia "rigor, harshness, roughness," from inclemens (see inclement).



1660s, from French inclément and directly from Latin inclementem (nominative inclemens) "harsh, unmerciful," from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + clementem "mild, placid." "Limitation to weather is curious" [Weekley].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper