Definition of infallible in English:



  • 1Incapable of making mistakes or being wrong.

    ‘doctors are not infallible’
    • ‘Where humans live pleasurable easy lives, being looked over by sentient immortal Minds who are far from infallible but pursue a life of wisdom and a search for abstraction while tending the human flock in their care.’
    • ‘The really impressive thing about the post-Christian world is its almost infallible knack for deriving exactly the wrong lesson from its experience.’
    • ‘While the Canadian government, for all its faceless fumbling bureaucracy, isn't infallible, we've also never had an iron-fisted strongman declare every Monday a holiday to honour his dog.’
    • ‘Our leaders are infallible and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong.’
    • ‘I have never been mistaken before, but even I am not infallible.’
    • ‘It wasn't an altruistic thing at all, but she did believe deep in her heart that an infallible God, a God that would never steer her wrong, was telling her, requiring her to do that.’
    • ‘Indeed it is assumed that governments are infallible and can do no wrong.’
    • ‘Ms Lieven said: ‘Nobody is infallible, including parliamentary draftsmen.’’
    • ‘Books, television, even dear old infallible Mom have steered you wrong.’
    • ‘During the rest of the series, Trescothick has been infallible, and his reliability at first slip has improved England's out-cricket hugely.’
    • ‘I am not infallible in the judgments that I make but that's what I believe.’
    • ‘Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, can it be possible that the legendary spin doctors, the hi-tech whiz-kids, the men with a reputation for being infallible, have miscalculated?’
    • ‘Although they sturdily protected public morals by preventing the sound of a toilet's flushing being heard on stage and routinely objected to bed scenes and bare flesh, they were neither infallible nor inflexible.’
    • ‘And, of course, if you start thinking that the Pope is wrong about that then the Pope can't be infallible.’
    • ‘I seem to have an infallible knack for having something in my blurbs go wrong.’
    • ‘Of course, I am not suggesting that independent or non-aligned candidates are infallible, but at least we would have some chance of decisions being made on their merits rather than simply on party political lines.’
    • ‘Politicians must present themselves as infallible, incorruptible, incapable of dishonesty.’
    • ‘The censorship method… is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient.’
    • ‘Refusing refugees the right of appeal would save the taxpayer piles of money and as our Government and justice system are completely infallible, these appeals are an outrageous and unnecessary drain on the public purse.’
    unerring, error-free, unfailing, faultless, flawless, impeccable, perfect, true, uncanny, precise, accurate, meticulous, scrupulous
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Never failing; always effective.
      ‘infallible cures’
      • ‘In the past it has proved infallible but that, as I am sure you are aware, is no guarantee of future success.’
      • ‘Experience is a great tool to possess when visually evaluating a swimmer's condition but it is not infallible and we all make mistakes.’
      • ‘I don't wish to trivialise a potentially fatal disease but received wisdom isn't always infallible, not even received medical wisdom.’
      • ‘So why not make use of modern technology, he whispered, reassuring himself that his reasoning was sound and infallible.’
      • ‘Price is not always an infallible guide to quality, though you would be very unlucky to find a poor-quality vintage champagne costing more than £40 a bottle.’
      • ‘That there is no infallible way to distinguish the genuine cases from the fraudulent ones causes the liberal sentimentalist no particular anxiety: he wants to feel generous, not to be generous.’
      • ‘Scientists and lab analysts are inclined to see what they expect to see, to support what they have been told they would see, and to conclude that their results are scientifically valid and therefore infallible.’
      • ‘Vedic knowledge is infallible, above all doubts and mistakes.’
      • ‘While not infallible, the system is widely accepted in academia, and used for the assigning of credit, and hence employment, allocation of funds, and the like, within universities.’
      • ‘Some even advertised their wares as infallible and guaranteed.’
      • ‘That we have no infallible technique does not mean that we are bound always to fail.’
      • ‘They've been told in a million ways that incomprehensible and virtually infallible technology is always invisibly at work on their behalf.’
      • ‘The process of deciding which vertex to fix next is not infallible, and when a wrong choice is made, there may be no later opportunity to recover from it.’
      • ‘Farwell is convinced that his technique is nearly infallible.’
      • ‘Modern testing techniques are said to be virtually infallible, with a one in a billion chance of an individual's DNA being mistaken as another person's.’
      • ‘You need to bear in mind that your judgment is not always infallible.’
      • ‘While no security is infallible the cruise lines believe the umbrella of protective measures, those they acknowledge and those they don't, could avoid a repeat of the past.’
      • ‘Its record is by no means infallible, but Debka strikes me as more reliable than most, and more interesting than almost any.’
      • ‘I'd love to say yes, there is a way and here it is, the perfect and infallible method of knowing, in advance, if you will have a wonderful lifelong marriage.’
      • ‘How can we say our system is infallible when this hangs over our heads?’
      unfailing, never failing, always effective, guaranteed, dependable, trustworthy, reliable, sure, certain, safe, sound, tried and tested, foolproof, effective, efficacious
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (in the Roman Catholic Church) credited with papal infallibility.
      ‘for an encyclical to be infallible the Pope must speak ex cathedra’
      • ‘Papal pronouncements, for instance, are judged to be infallible only as part of the extraordinary magisterium.’
      • ‘Cole is claiming that the Response is binding because it simply restates infallible teachings of the Church.’
      • ‘The council's careful balancing of papal and episcopal authority did not seem intended to expand the church's infallible teaching to areas like contraception.’
      • ‘Unlike church dogma, encyclicals are not infallible pronouncements, but Catholics are expected to follow them, while the declaration of the papal view limits the freedom of theological discussion.’
      • ‘The church has proclaimed as infallible two dogmas in relation to Mary - the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.’


Late 15th century: from French infaillible or late Latin infallibilis, from in- ‘not’ + Latin fallere ‘deceive’.