Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
July 29th, 2015
Episode 271 of 717 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 29, 2015 is: indomitable \in-DAH-muh-tuh-bul\ adjective : incapable of being subdued : unconquerable Examples: The memorial celebrates the indomitable spirit of the pioneers who ventured forth in search of a new life. "The stones, removed as part of structural improvements to the bridge, speak to the indomitable nature of 19th-century workers, often immigrants, who somehowwith horses and pulleys managed to move around that staggering weight." Sean Kirst, Syracuse.com (New York), June 16, 2015 Did you know? The prefix in- means "not" in numerous English words (think of indecent, indecisive, inconvenient, and infallible). When in- teamed up with the Latin domitare ("to tame"), the result was a word meaning "unable to be tamed." Indomitable was first used in English in the 1600s as a synonym of wild, but over time its sense of untamability turned from a problem to a virtue. By the 1800s, indomitable was being used for people whose courage and persistence helped them to succeed in difficult situations.