impune (adj.) Look up impune at
"unpunished" (obsolete), 1610s, from Latin impunis "unpunished" (see impunity). For the word meaning "attack by argument," see impugn.
impunity (n.) Look up impunity at
1530s, from Middle French impunité (14c.) and directly from Latin impunitatem (nominative impunitas) "freedom from punishment, omission of punishment," also "rashness, inconsideration," from impunis "unpunished, without punishment," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + poena "punishment" (see penal).
impure (adj.) Look up impure at
mid-15c., of wine, "muddy, not clear," from Middle French impur (13c.), from Latin impurus "not pure, unclean, filthy, foul," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + purus "pure" (see pure).

In English, the subsequent order of sense appearance seems to be "earthly, mundane, not spiritual" (c. 1500); "obscene, lewd, unchaste, immoral" (1530s); "mixed with offensive matter, tainted" (1590s); "mixed or combined with other things" (without reference to foulness), 1620s. As a noun from 1784. Related: Impurely.
Impuritan (n.) Look up Impuritan at
"one who is not a Puritan," 1610s, a hostile coinage of the Puritans, from im- "not, opposite of" + Puritan, perhaps also with suggestion of impure.
impurity (n.) Look up impurity at
mid-15c., "thing which makes or is impure;" c. 1500, "fact or quality of being impure," from Middle French impurité, from impur (see impure). Related: Impurities.
imputable (adj.) Look up imputable at
1620s, from Medieval Latin imputabilis, from Latin imputare "to charge, ascribe" (see impute). Related: Imputability.
imputation (n.) Look up imputation at
1540s, noun of action from impute (v.) on model of Middle French imputation, or else from Late Latin imputationem (nominative imputatio) "a charge, an account," noun of action from Latin imputare "to charge, ascribe."
impute (v.) Look up impute at
early 15c., from Old French imputer, emputer (14c.) and directly from Latin imputare "to reckon, make account of, charge, ascribe," from assimilated form of in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + putare "to trim, prune; reckon, clear up, settle (an account)," from PIE *puto- "cut, struck," duffixed form of root *pau- (2) "to cut, strike, stamp" (see pave). Related: Imputed; imputing.
in (adv., prep.) Look up in at
a Middle English merger of Old English in (prep.) "in, into, upon, on, at, among; about, during;" and Old English inne (adv.) "within, inside," from Proto-Germanic *in (cognates: Old Frisian, Dutch, German, Gothic in, Old Norse i), from PIE *en "in" (cognates: Greek en, Latin in "in, into," Old Irish in, Welsh yn, Old Church Slavonic on-). The simpler form took on both senses in Middle English.

Sense distinction between in and on is from later Middle English, and nuances in use of in and at still distinguish British and American English (in school/at school). Sometimes in Middle English shortened to i.

The noun sense of "influence, access (to power or authorities)," as in have an in with, is first recorded 1929 in American English. to be in for it "certain to meet with something unpleasant" is from 1690s. To be in with "on friendly terms with" is from 1670s. Ins and outs "intricacies, complications of an action or course" is from 1660s. In-and-out (n.) "copulation" is attested from 1610s.
in (adj.) Look up in at
"that is within, internal," 1590s, from in (adv.). Sense of "holding power" (the in party) first recorded c. 1600; that of "exclusive" (the in-crowd, an in-joke) is from 1907 (in-group); that of "stylish, fashionable" (the in thing) is from 1960.
in absentia (adv.) Look up in absentia at
Latin, literally "in (his/her/their) absence" (see absence). By 1831 in English, earlier in legal Latin.
in custodia legis (adv.) Look up in custodia legis at
legal Latin, "in the custody of the law," from ablative of custodia "a guarding, watching, keeping" (see custody) + genitive of lex "law" (see legal (adj.)).
in extremis Look up in extremis at
"at the point of death," 16c., Latin, literally "in the farthest reaches," from ablative plural of extremus "extreme" (see extreme (adj.)).
in facie curiae Look up in facie curiae at
"before the court," legal Latin, from ablative of Latin facies "form, face" (see face (n.)). + genitive of curia "court" (see curia).
in fieri Look up in fieri at
legal Latin, "in the process of being done," from fieri "to come into being, become," used as passive of facere "to make, do" (see factitious).
in forma pauperis Look up in forma pauperis at
legal Latin, literally "in the form of a poor person" (thus exempt from certain court fees, etc.), 1590s; see form (n.) + pauper (n.).
in loco parentis Look up in loco parentis at
legal Latin, 1640s in English, literally "in the place of a parent," from loco, ablative of locus "a place" (see locus (n.)) + parentis, genitive of parens "parent" (see parent (n.)).
in medias res Look up in medias res at
Latin, literally "in the midst of things," from medias, accusative fem. plural of medius "middle" (see medial (adj.)) + accusative plural of res "a thing," from PIE *re- "to bestow, endow." From Horace, in reference to narrative technique:
Semper ad eventum festinat, et in medias res,
Non secus ac notas auditorem rapit
in memoriam Look up in memoriam at
Latin, literally "in memory of," from accusative of memoria "memory" (see memory). The phrase was much-used in Latin writing; Tennyson's poem of that name (published in 1850) seems to have introduced the phrase to English.
in re (prep.) Look up in re at
"in the matter of, in the (legal) case of," c. 1600, probably from Duns Scotus; Latin, from re, ablative of res "property, goods; matter, thing, affair," from Proto-Italic *re-, of uncertain origin. According to de Vaan from PIE *Hreh-i- "wealth, goods" (cognates Sanskrit rayi- "property, goods," Avestan raii-i- "wealth").
in situ Look up in situ at
1740, Latin, literally "in its (original) place or position," from ablative of situs "site" (see site (n.)).
in toto Look up in toto at
Latin, "as a whole, completely," from toto, ablative of totus "whole, entire" (see total (adj.)).
in utero Look up in utero at
1713, Latin, literally "in the uterus," from ablative of uterus (see uterus).
in vitro Look up in vitro at
1892, scientific Latin; "in a test tube, culture dish, etc.;" literally "in glass," from Latin vitrum "glass" (see vitreous).
in vivo Look up in vivo at
1898, Latin; "within a living organism," from vivere "to live" (see vital).
in't Look up in't at
archaic or poetic contraction of in it, attested from 17c. I'nt, also i'n't, as a contraction of is not is recorded from 1742.
in- (1) Look up in- at
word-forming element meaning "not, opposite of, without" (also im-, il-, ir- by assimilation of -n- with following consonant, a tendency which began in later Latin), from Latin in- "not," cognate with Greek an-, Old English un-, all from PIE root *ne "not" (see un- (1)).

In Old French and Middle English often en-, but most of these forms have not survived in Modern English, and the few that do (enemy, for instance) no longer are felt as negative. The rule of thumb in English has been to use in- with obviously Latin elements, un- with native or nativized ones.
in- (2) Look up in- at
element meaning "into, in, on, upon" (also im-, il-, ir- by assimilation of -n- with following consonant), from Latin in- "in" (see in).

In Old French (and hence in Middle English) this often became en-, which in English had a strong tendency to revert to Latin in-, but not always, which accounts for pairs such as enquire/inquire. There was a native form, which in West Saxon usually appeared as on- (as in Old English onliehtan "to enlighten"), and some of those verbs survived into Middle English (such as inwrite "to inscribe"), but all now seem to be extinct.

Not related to in- (1) "not," which also was a common prefix in Latin, causing confusion: to the Romans impressus could mean "pressed" or "unpressed;" inaudire meant "to hear," but inauditus meant "unheard of." The trouble has continued in English; the double sense of inflammable being a commonly cited example. Implume (1610s) meant "to feather," but implumed (c. 1600) meant "unfeathered." Impliable can mean "capable of being implied" (1865) or "inflexible" (1734). Impartible in 17c. could mean "incapable of being divided" or "capable of being imparted." Impassionate can be "free from passion" or it can mean "strongly stirred by passion." Inanimate (adj.) is "lifeless," but Donne uses inanimate (v.) to mean "infuse with life or vigor." In addition to improve "use to one's profit," Middle English also had a verb improve meaning "to disprove" (15c.). To inculpate is "to accuse," but inculpable means "not culpable, free from blame." Infestive has meant "troublesome, annoying" (1560s, from infest) and "not festive" (1620s). In Middle English inflexible could mean "incapable of being bent" or "capable of being swayed or moved." In 17c., informed could mean "current in information," formed, animated," or "unformed, formless" ("This was an awkward use" [OED]).
in-between (n.) Look up in-between at
1815, "an interval;" also "a person who intervenes," noun use of prepositional phrase, from in + between. Related: In-betweener (1924); in-betweenity (1927).
in-country (n.) Look up in-country at
"interior regions" of a land, 1560s, from in + country.
in-fighting (n.) Look up in-fighting at
1816, in pugilism, the practice of getting at close quarters with an opponent; see in + fighting. Old English infiht (n.) meant "brawl within a house or between members of a household." Middle English had infight (v.) "to attack" (c. 1300); the modern verb infight "fight at close quarters" (1916) appears to be a back-formation from in-fighting. Related: In-fighter (1812).
in-flight (adj.) Look up in-flight at
also inflight, "during or within a flight," 1945, from in + flight.
in-joke (n.) Look up in-joke at
1964, from in (adj.) + joke (n.).
in-law (n.) Look up in-law at
1894, "anyone of a relationship not natural," 1894, abstracted from father-in-law, etc.
The position of the 'in-laws' (a happy phrase which is attributed ... to her Majesty, than whom no one can be better acquainted with the article) is often not very apt to promote happiness. ["Blackwood's Magazine," 1894]
The earliest recorded use of the formation is in brother-in-law (13c.); the law is Canon Law, which defines degrees of relationship within which marriage is prohibited. Middle English inlaue (13c.) meant "one within or restored to the protection and benefit of the law" (opposite of an outlaw), from a verb inlauen, from Old English inlagian.
in-migration (n.) Look up in-migration at
1942, American English, in reference to movement within the same country (as distinguished from immigration), from in + migration.
in-patient (n.) Look up in-patient at
also inpatient, 1760, "person who stays in a hospital for treatment," from in (adj.) + patient (n.). As an adjective by 1890.
in-store (adj.) Look up in-store at
also instore, 1954, from in + store (n.). In Middle English, instore was a verb meaning "to restore, renew," from Latin instaurare.
in-transit (adj.) Look up in-transit at
1907, from commercial verbal phrase in transit "on the way or passage, while passing from one to another" (1819, earlier in Latin form in transitu), from in + transit (n.).
inability (n.) Look up inability at
mid-15c., inhabilite, "disqualification for office," from in- (1) + ability. Earlier was unability "incapability; incompetence" (late 14c.). General sense "state of being unable" is recorded by c. 1500.
inable (v.) Look up inable at
obsolete form of enable.
inaccessible (adj.) Look up inaccessible at
early 15c., from Middle French inaccessible (14c.), from Late Latin inaccessibilis "unapproachable," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + accessibilis "approachable" (see accessible). Related: Inaccessibly; inaccessibility. Earlier in same sense was unaccessible (c. 1400).
inaccuracy (n.) Look up inaccuracy at
1701, "quality or condition of being inaccurate," from inaccurate + -cy. As "an instance of being inaccurate, that which is inaccurate," 1704.
inaccurate (adj.) Look up inaccurate at
1690s, from in- (1) "not" + accurate. Unaccurate is attested from 1670s. Related: Inaccurately (1660s).
inaction (n.) Look up inaction at
1705, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + action (n.). Perhaps modeled on French Inaction.
inactive (adj.) Look up inactive at
1640s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + active. Perhaps a back-formation from Inactivity.
inactivity (n.) Look up inactivity at
1640s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + activity. Phrase masterly inactivity attested by 1791.
inadequacy (n.) Look up inadequacy at
1764, from inadequate + -cy. Related: Inadequacies.
inadequate (adj.) Look up inadequate at
1670s; see in- (1) "not, opposite of" + adequate. Related: Inadequately.
inadmissible (adj.) Look up inadmissible at
1744, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + admissible. Perhaps modeled on French inadmissible. Related: Inadmissibility.
inadvertence (n.) Look up inadvertence at
mid-15c., from Old French inadvertance "thoughtlessness, heedlessness" (14c.), from Scholastic Latin inadvertentia, from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + advertentia, from Latin advertere "to direct one's attention to," literally "to turn toward" (see advertise).