Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Impossible to avoid or prevent; certain to happen. synonym: certain.
  • adjective Invariably occurring or appearing; predictable.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Not evitable; unavoidable; admitting of no escape or evasion: as, inevitable calamities.
  • In a more strict sense, equivalent to an act of God (which see, under act).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Not evitable; incapable of being shunned; unavoidable; certain.
  • adjective Irresistible.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Impossible to avoid or prevent.
  • adjective Predictable, or always happening.
  • noun Something that is predictable, or cannot be avoided.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective invariably occurring or appearing
  • adjective incapable of being avoided or prevented
  • noun an unavoidable event

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin inevitabilis ("unavoidable"), from in + evitabilis ("avoidable"), from evitare ("to avoid"), from e ("out") + vitare ("to shun").

Examples

  • That which binds on all this, makes their escape impossible and their ruin inevitable, is that God will set his eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume IV (Isaiah to Malachi)

  • Though it did not even now occur to him that what he called the inevitable had hitherto been the alternative he happened to prefer, he was yet obscurely aware that his present difficulty was one not to be conjured by any affectation of indifference.

    The Touchstone

  • Though it did not even now occur to him that what he called the inevitable had hitherto been the alternative he happened to prefer, he was yet obscurely aware that his present difficulty was one not to be conjured by any affectation of indifference.

    The Touchstone

  • Pointing to the recent declines at the top, Mr. Kaplan argues the Occupy protesters have accused the wrong villain by focusing on inequality, which he called an inevitable byproduct of robust growth.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Pointing to the recent declines at the top, Mr. Kaplan argues the Occupy protesters have accused the wrong villain by focusing on inequality, which he called an inevitable byproduct of growth.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Pointing to the recent declines at the top, Mr. Kaplan argues the Occupy protesters have accused the wrong villain by focusing on inequality, which he called an inevitable byproduct of growth.

    NYT > Global Home

  • In fact, if Newt wins Florida, he may have built up so much momentum that people start using the word "inevitable" to describe his nomination, rather than Mitt's.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • In fact, if Newt wins Florida, he may have built up so much momentum that people start using the word "inevitable" to describe his nomination, rather than Mitt's.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Pointing to the recent declines at the top, Mr. Kaplan argues the Occupy protesters have accused the wrong villain by focusing on inequality, which he called an inevitable byproduct of growth.

    NYT > Home Page

  • But Mr. Smith said that morale in the section was now good and that hundreds of lawyers had applied for recent job openings there, despite the travel demands and what he described as the inevitable criticism that comes with handling corruption cases.

    NYT > Home Page

Comments

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  • A number of young men and maidens were there, engaged in decorating the furniture with unstudied poses, and their interiors with the inevitable cocktails. -- ''Yashima, or, The Gorgeous West'' by R T Sherwood, 1931.

    December 24, 2008

  • can be used as a noun as in

    To hear some recent recordings, please visit the hundred inevitables at myspace.com.

    May 21, 2009