[preg-nuh-buh l]


capable of being taken or won by force: a pregnable fortress.
open to attack; assailable: a pregnable argument.

Origin of pregnable

1400–50; late Middle English prenable < Middle French prenable, pregnable, equivalent to pren- (weak stem of prendre to seize, take < Latin pre(he)ndere; see prehension) + -able -able; -g- perhaps from obsolete expugnable (in same sense)
Related formspreg·na·bil·i·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pregnable

Historical Examples of pregnable

  • There comes therefore the Statesman who acknowledges to himself that he will be pregnable.

    The Duke's Children

    Anthony Trollope

  • Let us assail this castle: it is pregnable: we shall have double honour.

    Chronicle and Romance (The Harvard Classics Series)

    Jean Froissart, Thomas Malory, Raphael Holinshed

  • From the reports of his spies regarding Bergerac, he thought the place was pregnable.

  • A cute old soul was Biddy, and extensive the knowledge experience had given her of the pregnable points of general character.

    The Bunsby papers

    John Brougham

  • At the inhospitable silence they waxed restive; they assaulted and forced the pregnable barriers, and invaded the premises.

British Dictionary definitions for pregnable



capable of being assailed or captured
Derived Formspregnability, noun

Word Origin for pregnable

C15 prenable, from Old French prendre to take, from Latin prehendere to lay hold of, catch
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 pregnable

1530s, alteration of Middle English preignable, earlier prenable (early 15c.), from Old French prenable "assailable, vulnerable," from stem of prendre "to take, grasp, seize," from Latin prehendere "to take hold of, to seize" (see prehensile).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper