• synonyms


[in-ek-stri-kuh-buh l, in-ik-strik-uh-]
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  1. from which one cannot extricate oneself: an inextricable maze.
  2. incapable of being disentangled, undone, loosed, or solved: an inextricable knot.
  3. hopelessly intricate, involved, or perplexing: inextricable confusion.
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Origin of inextricable

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English word from Latin word inextrīcābilis. See in-3, extricable
Related formsin·ex·tri·ca·bil·i·ty, in·ex·tri·ca·ble·ness, nounin·ex·tri·ca·bly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for inextricable

complex, intricate, involved, perplexing, tangled

Examples from the Web for inextricable

Contemporary Examples of inextricable

Historical Examples of inextricable

  • Was ever a man placed, he thought, in a position so inextricable, so disastrous?


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • The politics of the nation were now in an inextricable labyrinth of confusion.

  • Inwardly this is an inextricable ramification and communication.

  • I was out of health, and felt as if I were in an inextricable coil of misery.

    Curious, if True

    Elizabeth Gaskell

  • What was for me an inextricable puzzle has become clear as day.

British Dictionary definitions for inextricable


  1. not able to be escaped froman inextricable dilemma
  2. not able to be disentangled, etcan inextricable knot
  3. extremely involved or intricate
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Derived Formsinextricability or inextricableness, nouninextricably, 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 inextricable


early 15c., from Latin inextricabilis "that cannot be disentangled," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + extricare (see extricate). Related: Inextricably.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper