Definitions

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

  • adjective Incapable of erring.
  • adjective Incapable of failing; certain.
  • adjective Roman Catholic Church Incapable of error in expounding doctrine on faith or morals.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Not fallible in knowledge, judgment, or opinion; exempt from fallacy or liability to error; unerring.
  • Unfailing in character or effect; exempt from uncertainty or liability to failure; absolutely trustworthy.

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

  • adjective Not fallible; not capable of erring; entirely exempt from liability to mistake; unerring; inerrable.
  • adjective Not liable to fail, deceive, or disappoint; indubitable; sure; certain
  • adjective (R. C. Ch.) Incapable of error in defining doctrines touching faith or morals. See Papal infallibility, under Infallibility.

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

  • adjective Without fault or weakness; incapable of error or fallacy.
  • adjective certain, sure.

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

  • adjective incapable of failure or error

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Medieval Latin īnfallibilis : Latin in-, not; see in– + Medieval Latin fallibilis, fallible; see fallible.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin infallibilis, from Latin in- + fallibilis. Compare French infaillible.

Examples

  • The only infallibility they have is that which they define as infallible eg. “oops, a bug!”

    News Links

  • They look at Superbowl Guy like he was a superstitious "ex" Nazi, somewhere to the right of Attila The Hun, who preaches discrimination against gays and women, believes himself to be infallible, is a firm roadblock to social progress, dictates policies that ensures the spread of AIDS, dresses like an overly-rich drag queen with no taste, and devotes his time to protecting child molesters around the globe?

    Tallulah Morehead: Survivor 21: Infants vs Senior Citizens : Triage for Dummies.

  • They look at Superbowl Guy like he was a superstitious "ex" Nazi, somewhere to the right of Attila The Hun, who preaches discrimination against gays and women, believes himself to be infallible, is a firm roadblock to social progress, dictates policies that ensures the spread of AIDS, dresses like an overly-rich drag queen with no taste, and devotes his time to protecting child molesters around the globe?

    Tallulah Morehead: Survivor 21: Infants vs Senior Citizens : Triage for Dummies.

  • They look at Superbowl Guy like he was a superstitious "ex" Nazi, somewhere to the right of Attila The Hun, who preaches discrimination against gays and women, believes himself to be infallible, is a firm roadblock to social progress, dictates policies that ensures the spread of AIDS, dresses like an overly-rich drag queen with no taste, and devotes his time to protecting child molesters around the globe?

    Tallulah Morehead: Survivor 21: Infants vs Senior Citizens : Triage for Dummies.

  • They look at Superbowl Guy like he was a superstitious "ex" Nazi, somewhere to the right of Attila The Hun, who preaches discrimination against gays and women, believes himself to be infallible, is a firm roadblock to social progress, dictates policies that ensures the spread of AIDS, dresses like an overly-rich drag queen with no taste, and devotes his time to protecting child molesters around the globe?

    Tallulah Morehead: Survivor 21: Infants vs Senior Citizens: Triage for Dummies.

  • They look at Superbowl Guy like he was a superstitious "ex" Nazi, somewhere to the right of Attila The Hun, who preaches discrimination against gays and women, believes himself to be infallible, is a firm roadblock to social progress, dictates policies that ensures the spread of AIDS, dresses like an overly-rich drag queen with no taste, and devotes his time to protecting child molesters around the globe?

    Tallulah Morehead: Survivor 21: Infants vs Senior Citizens : Triage for Dummies.

  • He has to make a quick visit to Dr. Hervey, a leprosy specialist who has developed a certain infallible test ...

    “Some day, all the fools will be dead....”

  • Everyone makes mistakes at some point; to assume healthcare professionals are infallible is ridiculous.

    Big Music wants Britanny Chan

  • ONE way of feeling infallible is not to keep a diary.

    As I Please

  • "O, my Lord," answered he, "if health were the only cause of a lady's bloom, my eye, I grant, had been infallible from the first glance; but –"

    Evelina: or, The History of a Young Lady's Entrance Into the World

Comments

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  • Did you know that The Pope was infallible?

    May 6, 2008

  • only when he speaks ex cathedra, actually.

    May 6, 2008

  • Indeed. Not that I've been keeping serious track, But I think the last time that happened was over a century ago, when the pontiff at the time weighed in on the important doctrinal issue of the Immaculate Conception.

    A question which many non-catholics (and more than a few catholics) regularly confuse with the virgin birth of Christ.

    So, let's be clear, wordies. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception states that Mary, mother of Jesus, was born free of original sin, that unsightly blemish which besmirches the soul of us lesser mortals at birth. It has nothing whatsoever to do with her state of virginity or otherwise at the conception of Jesus. The 'conception' in 'Immaculate Conception' refers to that of Mary, not Jesus.

    As the pope was sitting in his infallible chair when he explained this, Catholics are expected to believe it. And to go to mass on December 8th to celebrate it.

    Non-Catholics (see heathen or pagan) may believe whatever they like as they frolic on the road to their damnation.

    In other news, Pope Rat-zinger recently abolished limbo, but reopened hell. But I don't think he was sitting in the infallibility chair at the time.

    May 6, 2008

  • This is correct. And the year was 1854, I believe. (I always thought it was 1864, but Wikipedia says I'm wrong. Hmph.) It is shocking to me--well, maybe not actually shocking; more like surprising--how many Catholics don't know about the ex cathedra thing, or when was the last time the pope sat in it while loudly declaiming something. Non-Catholics I would expect not to know about it because, you know, it's easier just to say the lovely word infallible and be done with it. (It does give good mouthfeel.)

    Dude, the pontiff abolished limbo? I missed that memo.

    May 6, 2008

  • I saw the pope in the woods the other day (I was frolicing on my way to damnation) and I'm like, "Dude, where're your little red shoes?" And the pope just muttered, "Damn bear..."

    May 6, 2008