Definition of impenetrable in English:

impenetrable

adjective

  • 1Impossible to pass through or enter.

    ‘a dark, impenetrable forest’
    • ‘A youngster whose height and strength makes him an almost impenetrable barrier, he was an inspiring character.’
    • ‘When present, it often forms dense, impenetrable thickets.’
    • ‘The island is full of impenetrable virgin forest ill-suited to bikes, leaving the last leg to be completed on foot.’
    • ‘Perhaps they had gotten caught up in an impenetrable area of the forest and had to find a way around instead of simply going through.’
    • ‘Indeed, paddling up the creek is the best way to get into the dense surrounding forest, which is otherwise nearly impenetrable.’
    • ‘The country night was one of an almost impenetrable darkness, accentuated by the occasional faint pinprick of light.’
    • ‘It is no longer an impenetrable island wilderness.’
    • ‘But the circle of outraged nobles had made an almost impenetrable wall surrounding the king and the prince.’
    • ‘But I suppose it was too much to expect for him to have a black, twirly moustache and for her to cackle mysteriously from beneath an impenetrable black shroud.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, her last escapade with William had taught her that bathrooms were virtually impenetrable fortresses.’
    • ‘So the Romans decided it was not the primitive barbarians known as the Caledonii who had defeated them, but the vast impenetrable forest covering the country now known as Scotland.’
    • ‘But for most parents the school classroom is a place as mysterious and impenetrable as their teenager's bedroom.’
    • ‘To my horror though, I did not catch myself upon hitting the wall, but proceeded to pass through it into impenetrable darkness.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, anything that involves more than a simple sense is more complicated and the barriers are often impenetrable.’
    • ‘The spiky reed makes areas impenetrable, both for hunting and for cattle grazing.’
    • ‘Growing an impenetrable thicket is an alternative option that could blend in with the view beyond the boundary.’
    • ‘One million men and 1,500 tanks crossed the seemingly impenetrable forests in the Ardennes.’
    • ‘In this way the seemingly impenetrable barriers that separated the two groups began to fall away.’
    • ‘I just knew that one day the battalion of trees would overtake this weak stretch of highway and obscure its existence with an impenetrable density.’
    • ‘In front of him was an impenetrable wall that he could not see his way around.’
    impassable, unpassable, inaccessible, unnavigable, untraversable, pathless, trackless, untrodden
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Physics (of matter) incapable of occupying the same space as other matter at the same time.
  • 2Impossible to understand.

    ‘her expression was impenetrable’
    ‘impenetrable jargon’
    • ‘I found some of the interviews in this book fascinating, others I found impenetrable; but my general feeling was that book didn't deliver.’
    • ‘The impenetrable jargon of much postmodern writings is an issue as well.’
    • ‘Ask a financial market dealer or analyst, and a spray of impenetrable jargon appears.’
    • ‘The mystery is not impenetrable to intellect or unintelligible in itself; rather, it is not fully intelligible to us.’
    • ‘But as a technology columnist, I'm in the business of coming up with confusing and impenetrable reactions to events around me.’
    • ‘It misfires because almost every page of it is weighed down by nearly impenetrable academic jargon.’
    • ‘Thus, the initiated are separated by high fences and impenetrable jargon from the ordinary folk.’
    • ‘The first three chapters of the book are hard going and, at times, impenetrable and needlessly obscure.’
    • ‘The wording of the document is really very easy to understand; it is not written in the usual impenetrable verbiage of the Treaties.’
    • ‘For non-Londoners it must be an impenetrable puzzle.’
    • ‘Lots of fields have their own jargon that is impenetrable to outsiders.’
    • ‘He might just be the model academic in that he elucidates the otherwise impenetrable idiolect of abstruse theory by using the vernacular of Pop cult allusion, and he makes it seems as if the two were made for one another.’
    • ‘Truth be told, our music is a smoky, impenetrable fortress.’
    • ‘Music industry insiders tend to litter their conversation with talk of turnover, market share and the impenetrable jargon of contract negotiations.’
    • ‘When you know someone really well you develop routines which are impenetrable to outsiders.’
    • ‘The poet seems to be experiencing a kind of existential crisis in a hostile, opaque, impenetrable and uninhabitable world.’
    • ‘Implacable, impenetrable, it may take five viewings to understand this movie, but it's time well spent.’
    • ‘The creation of life in general and of the human person in particular is a thing we can know a little about, but also a thing which is shrouded in impenetrable mystery.’
    • ‘I have to say I found the plot impenetrable.’
    • ‘They forget, if they ever knew, that Shakespeare can seem impenetrable.’
    incomprehensible, impossible to understand, unfathomable, fathomless, inexplicable, unintelligible, unclear, baffling, bewildering, puzzling, perplexing, confusing, abstruse, obscure, opaque, recondite, inscrutable, mysterious, cryptic, delphic
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: via French from Latin impenetrabilis, from in- ‘not’ + penetrabilis ‘able to be pierced’, from the verb penetrare (see penetrate).

Pronunciation

impenetrable

/ɪmˈpɛnɪtrəb(ə)l/