inexplicit (adj.) Look up inexplicit at
1775 (implied in inexplicitly), from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + explicit. Or else from Latin inexplicitus "not to be unfolded; unexplained." Related: Inexplicitly; inexplicitness.
inexpressible (adj.) Look up inexpressible at
1620s, from in- (1) "not" + expressible (see express (v.)). Inexpressibles "trousers" is from 1790. Related: Inexpressibly.
I have retain'd the word BREECHES, as they art known by no other name amongst country folk.--The change from vulgarity to refinement, in cities and towns, has introduced other appellations; there they are generally called SMALL CLOTHES, but some ladies of high rank and extreme delicacy call them INEXPRESSIBLES. [footnote in "Poems Miscellaneous and Humorous," by Edward Nairne, Canterbury, 1791]
inexpugnable (adj.) Look up inexpugnable at
late 15c., from Old French inexpugnable (14c.) or directly from Latin inexpugnabilis "not to be taken by assault, not to be rooted out, invincible," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + expugnabilis "assailable," from expugnare (see expugn). Figurative sense, in reference to arguments, etc., is from 1530s.
inexpungible (adj.) Look up inexpungible at
1610s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + expungible (see expunge).
inextinguishable (adj.) Look up inextinguishable at
c. 1500, from in- (2) "not" + extinguishable. Earlier was inextinguible (early 15c.), from Old French inextinguible or directly from Latin inextinguibilis. Related: Inextinguishably; inextinguishability.
inextirpable (adj.) Look up inextirpable at
1620s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + extirpable (see extirpate).
inextricable (adj.) Look up inextricable at
early 15c., from Latin inextricabilis "that cannot be disentangled," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + extricare "to disentangle" (see extricate). Related: Inextricably; inextricability.
Inez Look up Inez at
fem. proper name, Spanish form of Agnes (q.v.).
infallibility (n.) Look up infallibility at
"quality of being incapable of error," 1610s, from Medieval Latin infallibilitas, from infallibilis (see infallible).
infallible (adj.) Look up infallible at
"exempt from error in judgment, knowledge, or opinion," early 15c., from Medieval Latin infallibilis, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Late Latin fallibilis (see fallible). In reference to Popes, attested from 1870, hence infallibilism, the doctrine of this; infallibilist. Related: Infallibly.
infamous (adj.) Look up infamous at
a 16c. merger of two Middle English words, with the form of infamous "not well-known" (early 15c.) and the sense of infamis (late 14c.), "of ill repute, famous for badness." Infamous is from Medieval Latin infamosus, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Latin famosus "celebrated" (see famous). Infamis is from Latin infamis "of ill fame" (see infamy).

Meaning "causing infamy" is from 1550s. As a legal term, "disqualified from certain rights of citizens because of conviction for certain crimes" (late 14c.). The neutral fameless (in the sense original to infamous) is recorded from 1590s. Related: Infamously.
infamy (n.) Look up infamy at
early 15c., "public disgrace, dishonor, evil fame," from Old French infamie "dishonor, infamous person" (14c.) and directly from Latin infamia "ill fame, bad repute, dishonor," from infamis "disreputable, notorious, of ill fame," from in- "not, without" (see in- (1)) + fama "reputation" (see fame (n.)). Meaning "quality of being shamefully vile" is from 1510s.

An earlier form in Middle English was infame (late 14c.), from Old French infame, an earlier form of infamie. Infame also was the Middle English verb in this set, "brand with infamy," from Old French infamer, from Latin infamare "bring into ill repute, defame," from infamis. The verb has become archaic in English (infamize is attested from 1590s).
infancy (n.) Look up infancy at
late 14c., "condition of babyhood," also "childhood, youth," from Anglo-French enfaunce and directly from Latin infantia "early childhood," from infantem "young child," literally "one unable to speak" (see infant). Restriction to the earliest months of life is a return to the etymological sense of the word but is a recent development in English. In old legal language it meant "condition of being a minor" and could mean any age up to 21.
infant (n.) Look up infant at
late 14c., infant, infaunt, "a child," also especially "child during earliest period of life, a newborn" (sometimes meaning a fetus), from Latin infantem (nominative infans) "young child, babe in arms," noun use of adjective meaning "not able to speak," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + fans, present participle of fari "to speak," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say" (see fame (n.)). As an adjective in English, 1580s, from the noun.

The Romans extended the sense of Latin infans to include older children, hence French enfant "child," Italian fanicullo, faniculla. In English the word formerly also had the wider sense of "child" (commonly reckoned as up to age 7). The common Germanic words for "child" (represented in English by bairn and child) also are sense extensions of words that originally must have meant "newborn."
Infanta (n.) Look up Infanta at
"daughter of a king of Spain or Portugal," c. 1600, from Spanish and Portuguese infanta, fem. of infante "a youth; a prince of royal blood," from Latin infantem (see infant).
infanticide (n.) Look up infanticide at
1650s, "the killing of infants," especially the killing of newborns or the unborn; 1670s, "one who kills an infant," from infant + -cide. Perhaps from French infanticide (16c.).
In Christian and Hebrew communities infanticide has always been regarded as not less criminal than any other kind of murder; but in most others, in both ancient and modern times, it has been practised and regarded as even excusable, and in some enjoined and legally performed, as in cases of congenital weakness or deformity among some of the communities of ancient Greece. [Century Dictionary]
infantile (adj.) Look up infantile at
mid-15c., "pertaining to infants," from Late Latin infantilis "pertaining to an infant," from infans "young child" (see infant). Sense of "infant-like" is from 1772.
infantilism (n.) Look up infantilism at
1894 in the psychological sense; see infantile + -ism. Earlier in a physiological sense, "retarded and imperfect physical development," perhaps from French infantilisme (1871).
infantry (n.) Look up infantry at
1570s, from French infantrie, infanterie (16c.), from older Italian or Spanish infanteria "foot soldiers, force composed of those too inexperienced or low in rank to be cavalry," a collective noun from infante "foot soldier," originally "a youth," from Latin infantem (see infant). Meaning "infants collectively" is recorded from 1610s. A Middle English (c. 1200) word for "foot-soldiers" was going-folc, literally "going-folk."
infantryman (n.) Look up infantryman at
1837, from infantry + man (n.).
infarct (n.) Look up infarct at
substance of an infarction, 1873, from medical Latin infarctus (variant of infartus), past participle of infarcire "to stuff into" (see infarction).
infarction (n.) Look up infarction at
1680s, noun of action from Latin infarcire "to stuff into," from in- "into" (see in- (2)) + farcire "to stuff" (see farce).
Formerly applied in pathology to a variety of morbid local conditions; now usually restricted to certain conditions caused by a local fault in the circulation. [Century Dictionary, 1902]
infatigable (adj.) Look up infatigable at
"untiring," c. 1500, from French infatigable (15c.) or directly from Late Latin infatigabilis "that cannot be wearied," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + fatigabilis "that may be wearied," from Latin fatigare "to weary" (see fatigue (n.)).
infatuate (v.) Look up infatuate at
1530s, "turn (something) to foolishness, frustrate by making foolish," from Latin infatuatus, past participle of infatuare "make a fool of," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + fatuus "foolish" (see fatuous). Specific sense of "inspire (in someone) a foolish passion beyond control of reason" is from 1620s. Related: Infatuated; infatuating.
infatuation (n.) Look up infatuation at
1640s, noun of action from infatuate (q.v.), or else from French infatuation or directly from Late Latin infatuationem (nominative infatuatio), from past participle stem of Latin infatuare "make a fool of."
infeasibility (n.) Look up infeasibility at
1650s, from infeasible + -ity.
infeasible (adj.) Look up infeasible at
1530s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + feasible.
infect (v.) Look up infect at
late 14c., "fill with disease, render pestilential; pollute, contaminate; to corrupt morally," from Latin infectus, past participle of inficere "to stain, tinge, dye," also "to corrupt, stain, spoil," literally "to put in to, dip into," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + facere "to make, do, perform" (see factitious). In Middle English occasionally in a neutral sense "tinge, darken," but typically used of things indifferent or bad, and especially of disease. Related: Infected; infecting.
infection (n.) Look up infection at
late 14c., "infectious disease; contaminated condition;" from Old French infeccion "contamination, poisoning" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin infectionem (nominative infectio) "infection, contagion," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin inficere "to spoil, to stain" (see infect). Meaning "communication of disease by agency of air or water" (distinguished from contagion, which is body-to-body communication), is from 1540s.
infectious (adj.) Look up infectious at
"catching, having the quality of spreading from person to person, communicable by infection," 1540s of diseases, 1610s of emotions, actions, etc.; see infection + -ous. Earlier in the same sense were infectuous (late 15c.), infective (late 14c.). Related: Infectiously; infectiousness.
infective (adj.) Look up infective at
"infectious, communicable by infection," late 14c., from Latin infectivus, from infect-, past participle stem of inficere "to tinge, dye; stain, spoil" (see infect).
infecund (adj.) Look up infecund at
early 15c., from Latin infecundus, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + fecundus (see fecund). Related: Infecundity.
infelicitous (adj.) Look up infelicitous at
"unhappy, unlucky," 1754, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + felicitous. Earlier was infelicious (1590s). Related: infelicitously; infelicitousness.
infelicity (n.) Look up infelicity at
late 14c., "unhappiness," from Latin infelicitas "bad luck, misfortune, unhappiness," from infelix (genitive infelicis) "unfruitful, barren; unfortunate, unhappy; causing misfortune, unlucky," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + felix (see felicity). Meaning "inappropriateness, unhappiness as to occasion" is from 1610s.
infer (v.) Look up infer at
in logic, "to 'bring in' as a conclusion of a process of reasoning," 1520s, from Latin inferre "bring into, carry in; deduce, infer, conclude, draw an inference; bring against," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + ferre "carry, bear," from PIE *bher- (1) "to bear, to carry, to take" (cognates: Sanskrit bharati "carries;" Avestan baraiti "carries;" Old Persian barantiy "they carry;" Armenian berem "I carry;" Greek pherein "to carry;" Old Irish beru/berim "I catch, I bring forth;" Gothic bairan "to carry;" Old English and Old High German beran, Old Norse bera "barrow;" Old Church Slavonic birati "to take;" Russian brat' "to take," bremya "a burden").

General sense of "draw a conclusion" is first attested 1520s; intransitive sense is from 1570s.
inference (n.) Look up inference at
1590s, "action of inferring;" 1610s, "that which is inferred;" from Medieval Latin inferentia, from Latin inferentem (nominative inferens), present participle of inferre "bring into; conclude, deduce" (see infer).
inferential (adj.) Look up inferential at
1650s, from Medieval Latin inferentia (see inference) + -al (1). Related: Inferentially.
inferior (adj.) Look up inferior at
early 15c., of land, "low, lower down, lower in position," from Latin inferior "lower, further down" (also used figuratively), comparative of inferus (adj.) "that is below or beneath," from infra "below" (see infra-). Meaning "lower in degree, rank, grade, or importance" is from 1530s; absolutely, "of low quality or rank," also from 1530s.
inferior (n.) Look up inferior at
"person inferior to another in rank, etc.," early 15c., from inferior (adj.).
inferiority (n.) Look up inferiority at
"state of being inferior," 1590s, probably from Medieval Latin *inferioritas; see inferior + -ity. Inferiority complex first attested 1919.
The surrender of life is nothing to sinking down into acknowledgment of inferiority. [John C. Calhoun]
infernal (adj.) Look up infernal at
late 14c., "of or pertaining to the underworld," (ancient Tartarus, the sunless abode of the dead, or the Christian Hell), from Old French enfernal, infernal "of Hell, hellish" (12c.), from Late Latin infernalis "of or belonging to the lower regions," from infernus "hell" (Ambrose), in classical Latin "the lower (world)," noun use of infernus "lower, lying beneath, underground, of the lower regions," from infra "below" (see infra-).

Pluto was infernus rex, and Latin inferi meant "the inhabitants of the infernal regions, the dead." Association of the word with fire and heat is via the Christian conception of Hell. Meaning "devilish, hateful" is from early 15c.; meaning "suitable for or appropriate to Hell" is from c. 1600. As a name of Hell, or a word for things which resemble it, the Italian form inferno has been used in English since 1834, via Dante. Related: Infernally.
inferno (n.) Look up inferno at
1834, "Hell, the infernal regions," from Italian inferno, from Late Latin infernus "Hell," in classical Latin "the lower world" (see infernal). As "a large, raging fire" from 1928.
infertile (adj.) Look up infertile at
1590s, from French infertile (15c.), from Late Latin infertilis "unfruitful," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Latin fertilis "fruitful, productive" (see fertile).
infertility (n.) Look up infertility at
c. 1600, from French infertilité (16c.) or directly from Late Latin infertilitatem (nominative infertilitas), from infertilis "not fertile, unfruitful" (see infertile).
infest (v.) Look up infest at
late 15c., "to attack, assail, hurt, distress, annoy," from Old French infester (14c.), from Latin infestare "to attack, disturb, trouble," from infestus "unsafe, hostile, threatening, dangerous," originally "inexorable, not able to be handled," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + -festus "(able to be) seized." Sense of "swarm over in large numbers, attack parasitically" first recorded c. 1600. Related: Infested; infesting.
infestation (n.) Look up infestation at
early 15c., "a being infested," from Old French infestacion, from Late Latin infestationem (nominative infestatio) "a troubling, a disturbing, a molesting," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin infestare "to attack, disturb" (see infest).
infibulate (v.) Look up infibulate at
"to clasp, confine with a buckle, ring, clasp, or the like," especially of the sexual organs, to prevent copulation, 1620s, from Latin infibulatus, past participle of infibulare "to close with a clasp," from in- "on" (see in- (2)) + fibula "a clasp, pin" (see fibula). Related: Infibulated.
This operation was very generally practised in antiquity upon both young men and young women, but in later times chiefly upon the latter; and it is said to be still in use in some parts of the East. [Century Dictionary, 1902]
infibulation (n.) Look up infibulation at
1640s, noun of action from infibulate (q.v.); perhaps from or modeled on French infibulation or Medieval Latin *infibulatio.
infidel (n.) Look up infidel at
mid-15c., "adherent of a religion opposed to Christianity," from Middle French infidèle, from Latin infidelis "unfaithful, not to be trusted," in Late Latin "unbelieving" (in Medieval Latin also as a noun, "unbeliever"), from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + fidelis "faithful" (see fidelity).

Originally "a non-Christian" (especially a Saracen); later "one who does not believe in religion, disbeliever in religion generally" (1520s). Also used to translate Arabic qafir (see kaffir), which is from a root meaning "to disbelieve, to deny," strictly referring to all non-Muslims but virtually synonymous with "Christian;" hence, from a Muslim or Jewish point of view, "a Christian" (1530s). As an adjective from mid-15c., "of a religion opposed to Christianity;" 1520s as "rejecting the Christian religion while accepting no other."
infidelity (n.) Look up infidelity at
c. 1400, "want of faith, unbelief in religion; false belief, paganism;" also (early 15c.) "unfaithfulness or disloyalty to a person" (originally to a sovereign, by 16c. to a lover or spouse), from French infidélité (12c.) or directly from Latin infidelitatem (nominative infidelitas) "unfaithfulness, faithlessness," noun of quality from infidelis "unfaithful, unbelieving" (see infidel).