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  • IPA(key): /ɪmˈpɹɛɡnəbəl/

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle French imprenable, im- (not), + prendre (to take) +-able (able to be the object of an action). Intrusive g added 16c on model of deign, reign.


impregnable (comparative more impregnable, superlative most impregnable)

  1. (of a fortress, wall, etc., also used figuratively) Too strong to be penetrated.
    • (Can we date this quote by South and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      The man's affection remains wholly unconcerned and impregnable.
    • 2011 October 2, Jonathan Jurejko, “Bolton 1 - 5 Chelsea”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      And with Bolton suffering a wretched run of five straight home defeats - their worst run in 109 years - Chelsea fans would have been forgiven for expecting a comfortable win.
      But surely they did not anticipate the ease with which their team raced into an almost impregnable half-time lead.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From impregnate +‎ -able, ultimately from Latin impraegnatus (made pregnant).


impregnable (comparative more impregnable, superlative most impregnable)

  1. Capable of being impregnated.
    • 1979 November 1, “Correlates of patterns of range use of a troop of yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus). I. Sleeping sites, impregnable females, births, and male emigrations and immigrations”, in Animal Behavior, volume 27, number 4, page 1098:
      The reproductive strategies of troop members, especially those of impregnable females, are suggested to influence patterns of range use.


  • Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1966).