impregnable

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Late Middle English imprenable, impregnable (impossible to capture, impregnable),[1] from Old French imprenable (modern French imprenable (impregnable)), from im- (a variant of in- (prefix meaning ‘not’) + prenable ((military) of a building, position, etc.: takable) (from prendre (to take) + -able (suffix meaning ‘creating an effect or influence’)). Prendre is derived from Latin prēndere, present active infinitive of prēndō, a variant of prehendō (to catch, lay hold of; to grasp; to grab, snatch; to seize, take), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *gʰed- (to find; to hold; to seize, take). The intrusive g in the English word was modelled after words like deign and reign.[2]

Adjective[edit]

impregnable (comparative more impregnable, superlative most impregnable)

  1. (military) Of a fortress or other fortified place: able to withstand all attacks; impenetrable, inconquerable, unvanquishable.
    Synonyms: breachless, inexpugnable, unassailable
    Antonyms: pregnable, unimpregnable
  2. (figuratively) Too strong to be defeated or overcome; invincible.
    Synonyms: inconquerable, unconquerable, undefeatable
    Antonyms: conquerable, defeatable, pregnable, vincible
    • 1664; first published 1694, Robert South, “A Sermon Preached before the University, at Christ-Church, Oxon, 1664”, in Twelve Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions, volume II, 6th edition, London: [] J[ames] Bettenham, for Jonah Bowyer, [], published 1727, OCLC 21766567, page 76:
      [A]s for the Friendſhip of the World; [] he may at laſt be no more able to get into the other's Heart, than he is to thruſt his Hand into a Pillar of Braſs. The Man's Affection, amidſt all theſe Kindneſſes done him, remaining wholly unconcerned, and impregnable; juſt like a Rock, which being plied continually by the Waves, ſtill throws them back again into the Boſom of the Sea that ſent them, but is not at all moved by any of them.
    • 2011 October 2, Jonathan Jurejko, “Bolton 1 – 5 Chelsea”, in BBC Sport[1], archived from the original on 31 December 2021:
      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]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

PIE word
*h₁én

From impregnate (verb) +‎ -able (suffix meaning ‘able or fit to be done’ forming adjectives). Impregnate is either derived from impregnate (pregnant, adjective), or from its etymon Medieval Latin or Late Latin impraegnātus (made pregnant), past participle of impraegnō (to make pregnant),[3][4] from Latin im- (a variant of in- (prefix meaning ‘in, inside, within’) + praegnāre (pregnant)[5] (from praegnāns, a variant of praegnās (pregnant), from prae- (prefix meaning ‘before; in front’) + gnāscor (archaic), nāscor (to be born; to grow, spring forth; to arise, proceed) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ǵenh₁- (to beget; to give birth; to produce))).

Adjective[edit]

impregnable (comparative more impregnable, superlative most impregnable)

  1. Capable of being impregnated; impregnatable.
    Antonym: unimpregnable
    • 1979 November, Dennis R. Rasmussen, “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 Behaviour, volume 27, number 4, New York, N.Y.: Elsevier Science Pub. Co., DOI:10.1016/0003-3472(79)90058-7, ISSN 0003-3472, OCLC 806382776, abstract, page 1098:
      The reproductive strategies of troop members, especially those of impregnable females, are suggested to influence patterns of range use.
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ imprenāble, adj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ impregnable, adj. and n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021; “impregnable, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  3. ^ impregnate, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2021; “impregnate, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  4. ^ impregnate, adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021.
  5. ^ impregn, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2021.