Printable Version
Pronunciation: in-dah-mit-êbêl Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Unconquerable, resolute, fiercely tenacious, implacably determined, never admitting defeat, able to persevere against all obstacles.

Notes: This adjective is the antonym of the rarely used adjective domitable. It admits an adverb, indomitably, and a noun, indomitability.

In Play: The current affray in Ukraine comes to mind when we hear this word. "The indomitable Ukrainians have the entire democratic world supporting them." Plants can be indomitable, too: "Bamboo is one of the most indomitable plants on Earth." Even geological features may be indomitable: "Mount Everest was once thought to be an indomitable peak."

Word History: Today's Good Word is an English repair of Latin indomitabilis "untamable", comprising in- "un-, not, without" + domitabilis "tameable". Domitabilis is the passive adjective from domitare "to tame", built from PIE dem-/dom- "house(hold)". We see its remnant in Persian dam "a tame animal", Irish díon "roof", French domestique "tame", English tame and German zahm "tame", i.e. house-broken, safe to keep around the house. We see its remains in Sanskrit damah "house", Armenian tun "house", Albanian dhomë "room". We see the PIE word well preserved in Greek demein "to build" and domos "house", Latin domus "house" (whence English dome), and Russian dom "house, home". There it is again in Latin domesticus "domestic, belonging to a household", which English snitched for its domestic and domesticate "to tame". (Now a rousing ovation for our long-time indomitable contributor Joakim Larsson of Sweden for yet another mind-rousing Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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