Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Being such that attack, seizure, or capture is possible; vulnerable or assailable: a pregnable fortress.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. vulnerable to attack

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Capable of being entered, taken, or captured; expugnable.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Capable of being taken or won by force; expugnable.
  • Capable of being moved, impressed, or convinced.

Etymologies

Middle English preignable, pregnabul, from Old French prenable, pregnauble, from prendre, to grasp, from Latin prehendere, prēndere; see ghend- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Only after Tunisia's longtime president fled his North African country last month did Mr. Mubarak's grip on power seem pregnable.

    A Man Needed Abroad, Reviled at Home

  • Got estrogen young and pregnable - young cute face.

    Do Not Open

  • There comes therefore the Statesman who acknowledges to himself that he will be pregnable.

    The Duke's Children

  • Not im-pregnable, but as close to it as Necromonger technol-ogy could make it.

    The Chronicles of Riddick

  • But though she recognized an egotist in the settee, she felt none of that usual shutting of doors in her mind which meant clearing ship for action; on the contrary her instinct told her that this man was somehow completely pregnable and quite defenseless.

    Flappers and Philosophers

  • American, German, and Turkish forces descended on "im - pregnable" Rostov from land, sea, and air, destroyed a crack Guards Army in days.

    The Heirs of Babylon

  • Mathematical Demonstrations being built upon the im - pregnable Foundation of Geometry and Arithmetick are the only Truths that can sink into the mind of Man void of all Uncertainty; and all other Discourses participate more or less of Truth according as their subjects are more or less capable of Mathematical Demonstration

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • He did not, he simply could not believe that his base was as pregnable as the coordinator had assumed it to be.

    Children of the Lens

  • It makes a breach in the blank wall, and the whole is now pregnable.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 06, No. 37, November, 1860

  • Let us assail this castle: it is pregnable: we shall have double honour.

    Chronicle and Romance (The Harvard Classics Series)

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Comments

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  • I liked his pregnable self, sensitive and porous, just before he talked, when he seemed a very soft animal, or a very sensual one, when his malady was not perceptible.
    —Anaïs Nin, 'Marcel', in Delta of Venus

    (Sadly we have been ruined by the Internet, and we all invariably think of Snape getting Harry up the duff. Nin did not mean that. What would Nin have done with Snape, I wonder?)

    July 14, 2008