Definitions

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

  • adj. Impossible to avoid or prevent. See Synonyms at certain.
  • adj. Invariably occurring or appearing; predictable: the inevitable changes of the seasons.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

  • adj. invariably occurring or appearing
  • adj. incapable of being avoided or prevented
  • n. an unavoidable event

Etymologies

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

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

  • 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 > Global Home

  • 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

  • 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

  • When that lake recedes a mile out as it always has done in inevitable cycles, will these hill pople still walk the then depressing dry malecon or will they retreat to their community clubhouses to await the next rainy cycle?

    Pave Paradise Put Up a Parking Lot

  • Preparing for the sometimes inevitable is the best policy can do.

    ProWomanProLife » Cause and effect

  • It was truly serendipitous -- just that morning I was contemplating the 20-year cycle of Japanese Ise shrine and its planned destruction/rebuilding program in the name of inevitable renewal.

    Alla Kazovsky: Broodwork's: It's About Time and Talking to Strangers

  • Death and taxes may be inevitable in life, but in politics what's inevitable is that you will have to face public opinion and the Constitution.

    Jamie Court: Legal Challenges to Mandatory Health Insurance Are Good for America and Progressives

Comments

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  • can be used as a noun as in
    To hear some recent recordings, please visit the hundred inevitables at myspace.com.

    May 21, 2009

  • 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