Share this entry

inflexible Line breaks: in|flex¦ible
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈflɛksɪb(ə)l/

Definition of inflexible in English:


1Unwilling to change or compromise: once she had made up her mind, she was inflexible
More example sentences
  • When you disagree with her or won't go along with something she wants to do, she's completely inflexible and unwilling to compromise.
  • People over 35 were thought to be ‘too inflexible and unwilling to learn’.
  • It would appear that the new order of Catholicism is as equally inflexible and uncompromising, as the old order would appear to be.
hidebound, set in one's ways, blinkered, single-minded, pig-headed, mulish;
uncompromising, dogged, adamant, firm, resolute, diehard, steely, iron-willed, dyed-in-the-wool
formal refractory
1.1Not able to be changed or adapted to particular circumstances: inflexible rules
More example sentences
  • The contract is inflexible, whatever the circumstances.
  • And it's not surprising that governments make inflexible stands in circumstances such as these relating to children.
  • This week's inflexible attitudes and blinkered thinking is just the scenario you naughty Aquarians love to be outrageous and make mischief in
unalterable, unchangeable, unvarying, unwavering, unshakeable, entrenched;
firm, fixed, set, established, hard and fast, uncompromising;
2Not able to be bent; stiff: heavy inflexible armour
More example sentences
  • Janice was fairly stiff and inflexible, with a bad back, so the movements were geared to her level of ability.
  • Your vertebrae begin to grow together, forming vertical bony outgrowths and becoming stiff and inflexible.
  • When they're cold, they're stiff and inflexible, and forcibly stretching them could lead to injury or strains.
rigid, stiff, non-flexible, unyielding, unbending, unbendable, taut, hard, firm, inelastic
rare impliable, unmalleable


Late Middle English: from Latin inflexibilis, from in- 'not' + flexibilis 'flexible'.



Pronunciation: /ɪnflɛksɪˈbɪlɪti/
Example sentences
  • As for Churchill, I thought that it was precisely his inflexibility and stubbornness that made him a great war leader, at a time when England might have done little to oppose Nazi Germany.
  • She is forced into this position because she equates evolution with genetic determinism and inflexibility of behavior.
  • Forty-five per cent of respondents were dissatisfied with the length and inflexibility of hours worked, which were not conducive to family life.


Example sentences
  • It is the consequence of a basically linguistically-orientated content delivered inflexibly and mechanistically.
  • She is often inflexibly wrong but passionately convincing.
  • Isn't it more important to save one more life than inflexibly sticking to the rules?

Definition of inflexible in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day exemplum
Pronunciation: ɪɡˈzɛmpləm
an example or model...