AskDefine | Define ineluctable

Dictionary Definition

ineluctable adj : impossible to avoid or evade:"inescapable conclusion"; "an ineluctable destiny"; "an unavoidable accident" [syn: inescapable, unavoidable]

User Contributed Dictionary



From ineluctabilis, from in- + eluctare ‘struggle out’.


  • /ɪnɪ'lʌktəbəl/


  1. Impossible to avoid or escape; inescapable, irresistible.


  • 1655, Thomas Pierce, A Correct Copy of Some Notes concerning Gods Decrees, "A Paraenesis to the Reader," ch. 4, item 50,
    God indeed (if it please him) can by his absolute power over his Creature, make him act this thing, or take that thing, by ineluctable Necessity, and whether he will or no.
  • 1797, Alexander Shiels, A Hind Let Loose, Calton (Glasgow), p. 541,
    They have come under the yoke of ineluctable slavery.
  • 1894, Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, The Ebb-Tide, ch. 10,
    He was aware instantly of an opposition in his members, unanimous and invincible, clinging to life with a single and fixed resolve, finger by finger, sinew by sinew; something that was at once he and not he—at once within and without him;—the shutting of some miniature valve in his brain, which a single manly thought should suffice to open—and the grasp of an external fate ineluctable as gravity.
  • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses, Episode 3—Proteus,
    I throw this ended shadow from me, manshape ineluctable, call it back.
  • 1993, Will Self, My Idea of Fun,
    Out in the street, under the reddening afternoon sun, a spectacle of ineluctable commerce greeted her.
  • 2007, Marina Hyde, "The artists formerly known as huge carbon footprints," Guardian Unlimited (UK), 7 July,
    The first will be the ineluctable fact of climate change.

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  • Webster 1828}}

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